A massive office block near the station is set to be transformed into more than 100 apartments.

Developers want to turn Normandy House, on the junction of Alencon Link and Bunnian Place in the town centre, into 114 flats - which will comprise of one and two bedroom dwellings.

The building lies opposite two massive apartment blocks, Skyline Plaza and Crown Heights.

However, the move has been called "utterly disgraceful" by one councillor, who said the plans were "not at the quality we want".

It's not the first time that the plans have been mooted for the former IBM building, after an application was submitted in 2015 for a similar proposal.

It was not advanced at the time, despite a tribunal ruling in the developer's favour after Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council objected, and now property investment group Shaviram Normandy Ltd are notifying BDBC again that they intend to convert the building.

The conversion is allowed to happen under something called 'permitted development' - where the property owner is allowed to make certain adjustments without getting full planning permission.

And it was announced recently that the government plan to extend these rights, meaning anyone will be able to add two storeys to their homes or demolish and rebuild disused buildings into houses without obtaining full planning permission.

Cllr Paul Harvey, deputy leader of the Basingstoke and Deane Independents, says that the government are to blame, accusing them of "ripping up localism".

The councillor, who represents the Norden ward which sits adjacent to the site, told The Gazette: "It is utterly disgraceful that they can get away with another development of an office building, and it shows there is a problem with the government planning rules.

"These building were never designed for residential use."

Among the issues that Cllr Harvey raised was the waste collection strategy, which was also a sticking point for the Joint Waste Client Team, who run the bin collection services across Basingstoke and Deane and Hart.

They said they had "serious reservations", including whether the right capacity of skips for residents to use could be met, and whether the waste operators would be able to access the bin stores.

They also warned that they may refuse to service the office block should a strategy not be provided, which would leave more than 100 flats in the heart of Basingstoke without a bin collection service.

And Cllr Harvey continued to say that it was going to be "a massive issue" ahead of next year's borough council elections, adding that people would have a choice of a "free for all" of housing developments, or the chance to "step back and take a look, saying that Basingstoke has had enough".

"They are preying on people's desperation for housing", he said of the plan to redevelop the area.

Cllr Harvey warned that because of the changes to permitted development rights, there is no way to stop the application. "Trust me, I wish there was," he added.

The building lies a short walk from Churchill Place, another office block turned apartments, which, as previously reported in The Gazette, has had its own issues with waste lately.

You can have a look at the plans yourself, and leave your comments on the application, by searching 20/02039/GPDOFF on BDBC's planning portal.