Hopes for a new antiques saleroom in Shipton Bellinger have been dashed after a planning application was refused by Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC).

Diana Butchers had submitted plans in June, with plans to convert the current rental car storage unit at the Delta Works on Salisbury Road into a new saleroom for collectibles in the village lying on the border of Hampshire and Wiltshire. While she had said the new venture would be ‘more likely to provide local employment’, the council said there was “no justification” the site was no longer needed for its current use.

The plans detailed the conversion of Unit 2A of the Delta Works area into an antiques and collectibles saleroom. At present, the site is vacant following the previous tenants having left.

Under the plans, the 300 square metre unit would have been converted into a saleroom from its current use, which can be as offices, light industrial processes and distribution. Ms Butchers also hopes to sell drinks and light snacks as part of the venture at the site, which already contains a number of antiques businesses.

She states in planning documents that the business will not affect local planning policies, as it will not be converted into residential use, and will not require additional infrastructure.

“In particular,” she said, “the existing road traffic will not be increased compared with the current use of the site, access for cars is sufficient as already available.”

While highways concerns were not raised, TVBC said the proposal “does not fully comply” with policy LE10 of the revised local plan, which details retaining employment land and encouraging development in town centres such as Andover.

While admitting the plans were “unlikely” to have an impact on other businesses on the site, the council said that “no evidence” had been submitted that they would not, or that the unit wasn’t needed for its current use.

Though the plans have been refused, the applicant may appeal the decision, or resubmit the plans in modified form, in future.