A planning application to convert a flat into an ‘Airbnb’ holiday let in Shipton Bellinger has been thrown out by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

The plans, which would have seen a one-bedroom bungalow in Kilsby Flats, Bulford Road, given a change of use from a dwelling into a short-term holiday let, were refused by the council.

Katie Nethersole, the planning officer for the application, said in her report: “Whilst tourist use is generally accepted within settlement boundaries, the proposal would result in the loss of housing stock.

“It is acknowledged that the proposal would not result in any harm to the character and appearance of the area, amenity or parking. However insufficient justification has been provided with the application to justify the loss of a dwelling.”

The plans had caused controversy amongst neighbouring residents since they were submitted in May on behalf of the property’s owner, Edward Franklin. The neighbours cited concerns over the lack of parking facilities for the flats, and a potential impact on the nature of the neighbourhood.

One of them, Madeleine Osborne, wrote: “The property is only a small one-bedroom bungalow, with a bathroom, small lounge with kitchen area and a tiny courtyard garden.

“We feel it is only suitable for single or double occupancy only which is what it has been the last eight and a half years we have been living here.

“The thought of four adults and pets sharing this small bungalow when on holiday, not caring for the neighbours who are in close proximity, fills us with concern.”

Meanwhile, David Bray added: “There is very limited on street parking and there have been several occasions when the private drives of neighbours have been obstructed by visitors.”

The parish council had also objected, saying: “Parking on Bulford Road is already an issue and this proposal would exacerbate this.

“There are vulnerable residents who have carers visiting throughout the day. There would be a reduction in the village of permanent housing stock.”

While most of these concerns were not deemed to be relevant by TVBC’s planning officer, the loss of a dwelling was. As a result, the plans were refused on this ground alone.

Following the rejection, the applicant may choose to appeal against the decision, or resubmit the plans in modified form in future.