PLANS to change an office building into homes have been objected to by a parish council.

Oakley Parish Council’s planning committee discussed the application, submitted to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, asking for listed building consent to change the use of commercial offices to nine residential units, including external alterations, at Leamington Court, in Andover Road, Newfound.

The plans state that a tenant has not been secured to use the site for commercial purposes, because “restrictions on the internal layout imposed by the original structure of the listed barn building render the building unusable for modern office occupiers.”

The applicant intends to transform the building into four, two bed units and one, three-bed unit in the listed barn building, and three, two-bed units and one, one bed unit in the newer extension.

Thirteen parking spaces would be provided and a new footpath installed to adjoin the existing vehicular access to “provide a safer pedestrian route between the residential accommodation and the bus stops in Andover Road”.

But Oakley councillors objected to the plans because of poor pedestrian access to the site.

Councillor Margaret Burgess said: “It’s dangerous. We have had other things (applications) along there before, and we have said it’s far too dangerous. The road isn’t wide enough for there to be a pavement.”

Cllr Bob Frankland, who is not a member of the planning committee but who attended the meeting, pointed out that Oakley’s community speedwatch group had often caught motorists exceeding the speed limit in that area.

He added: “That’s where the fastest vehicles are in the entire parish.”