A PLAN to tear down a former social club which has been the subject of vandalism has been refused by planning chiefs.

An outline application to partly demolish the Wykeham Club and change use of the land to build a medical surgery, pharmacy and a block of 10 flats facing Osborne Road, Andover, has been thrown out by Test Valley Borough Council.

The club, accessible from both Western Road and Osborne Road, has been closed since April 2014.

However, planning permission for change was refused earlier this month.

An Osborne Road Developments Ltd spokesperson said: "Naturally, we are very disappointed at the decision to refuse our latest planning application.

"We have tried hard to come up with a solution for this site that will both enhance the area and provide useful facilities and attractive and much needed accommodation within easy walking distance of the town centre.

"A previous application was refused, with the main objection being the loss of the community asset despite there being no objections to the plans from the general public. 

"Prior to that application we had submitted other plans for a children’s nursery and five houses.

"This had local support and was recognised as something the town needed, but the plans were eventually withdrawn after it became clear that we would not get permission for the change of use.

"In the latest planning application we have retained the original building for use as a combined doctor’s surgery and pharmacy, and the construction of a single block of 10 flats in the current parking area.

"While the planners don’t seem to have objected to the use of the building they have found other reasons to refuse the application.

"It is our intention to appeal and we are quietly optimistic that we can overcome their objections.

"The length of time this process is taking is very frustrating and in the meantime the building is being targeted by vandals and its condition is deteriorating. 

"We all want to see this site put to a good, viable use."

Several reasons were given for refusing the application.

One was the block of flats ‘does not complement the character of the area in terms of its appearance and scale.’

The planning document added the proposed location of the residential bin store would have ‘unacceptable’ levels of noise, disturbance and odour to the ground floor flat occupier.

The refusal notice added the collection of bins for medical use would also have the same impact.