Andover Town Council has expressed objections to a planning application that seeks to convert the commercial space on the ground floor of a building in Andover into a residential space.

The councillors made the observation about Crown Building on London Street in an informal online meeting yesterday (Monday).

The landlord has sought to convert the commercial space into eight houses that include six one-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom flats. The building already has 38 flats on its upper two floors.

The ATC observations will be passed to the Planning Authority of Test Valley Borough Council through the Town Clerk.

The town councillors found four major problems with the planning application – it does not have a parking space, amenity space, provision for affordable housing and nitrate mitigation.

Commenting on the planning application, Cllr Luigi Gregori said: “First of all, there's no parking provision whatsoever. Secondly, there is no amenity space.

“Then, there’s no affordable housing. This bothers me, because they are applying for eight flats. They're claiming that under the central government guidelines, affordable housing comes in only after ten flats. However, if you look at the noise impact statement, it appears that we should consider the building as a whole. So my concern is that developers should not be allowed to section up, effectively what is a, single entity, so they can then avoid some of the affordable housing.

“There is also the issue of nitrogen nutrient assessment. No mitigation activity or scheme has been identified in place now. And they talk about various schemes which might happen in the future. Test Valley might take some money and then invest in a scheme in the future, but I'd rather see that happening now.”

Reacting to Cllr Gregori’s concerns, Cllr Barbara Long said: “You've got all these developments that are going on in the town centre, which does not have parking spaces. You've got 40 artefacts here, of which the no parking spaces, and that means, if they do have cars, and they are being pushed into the public car parks.

“This is going to get worse because more and more of the town centre building will come under residential units in the upper floors. This is going to be an ongoing problem, which means that the public car parks are being taken up by residents at least overnight – which I don't think is the right way they should be.”