A FORMER home site in a rural village will be converted into an apartment block despite a parish council’s strong objection.

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead planning officers have approved plans to demolish the Coppers in London Road, Sunningdale, and build an apartment block consisting of seven two-beds and two three-bedrooms.

Eighteen basement parking spaces are provided, an access drive will serve four visitor spaces in front of the building, and each apartment will have cycle storage.

The applicants, known as Mr and Mrs Boardman, said the flats will create a “high-quality pleasant living environment” for the future occupiers and will make a “positive contribution” to the character of the street scene.

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But Sunningdale Parish Council opposed the plans, arguing the building is bigger than the existing home and there is “limited space” in front of the block for visitor parking and space for deliveries, service vehicles to enter and turn.

The parish council wrote: “This application is the latest in a long line of applications which replace individual houses with a block of flats. Although this application is only for nine flats, to date this year we have seen planning applications totalling 150 flats.

“This lack of diversity is totally contrary to the strategy described in the Neighbourhood Plan and the wishes of the residents in Sunningdale.

“The parish council realises that it can only comment on this application, but the many applications for blocks of flats are changing the face of Sunningdale, leaving Sunningdale in a vulnerable position in supporting the needs of our residents.

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“The fact that flats tend to attract couples (both young and old) but tend not to support families means that the housing stock available for families becomes a scarce resource.”

Despite the objection, planning officers believed the increased size of the building will still be in keeping with the ‘leafy residential suburb’ character of the area and the plans will not impact highway safety.