NINE homes have been approved for the former Flax Factory building off St George’s Road in Dorchester.

The terraced housing scheme has received outline consent from Dorset Council after being revised following concerns about access and privacy.

Around a quarter of the site will continue to be used as a storage area for local travelling show people, as it is now.

The exact design details will be decided at a later stage.

The agreed ‘in pirnciple’ application gives consent to converted the existing building to eight homes with an extension at the western end to create an additional property – totalling nine in all on the site. Eight would be three-bed and one four-bed. Each house will have a garden to the rear with additional planting along the rear boundary.

Dorchester town council objected to the application, concerned about the safety of the access and claimed that the site would look out of keeping with the area and could affect the privacy of neighbours.

Wessex Water also objected saying that there could be smells at the site from their sewage works just down the road, although council officers say the predominant winds would mostly blow any smells away and any odours should not be noticeable indoors.

Seven letters were received about the application, several mentioning potential traffic problems with some concerned about the overlooking of gardens and what was claimed to be the ‘overbearing’ appearance.

A planning officer report concluded: “Conversion of the building into housing would be of an appropriate design, amenity and use.  The access, layout, scale and appearance are acceptable.”

The application comes from Ferndown-based Grennall Ltd which says that it will also create six new parking space to bring the number on site to 21, arranged around a central courtyard.

The building is currently listed as being used for storage and to park vintage fairground vehicles and caravans. It is on the southern side of the road just off the junction to Fenway Close, on the way to the town’s household recycling centre.

Outline permission was granted for demolition of the building and its replacement with eight homes in June 2017 which the applicants say is still valid and could be used, but they would prefer to re-use the existing building as much as possible.