A DEVELOPER has stood by their proposal to replace a former taxi office with five new apartments.

At the beginning of this year, plans were refused to gut the upstairs of 197 to 199 High Street, Maldon, extend the building and place five one bedroom flats in the space.

The plans also proposed to maintain the business, Banyards Taxi Office on the ground floor.

The council's planning officer, Spyros Mouratidis recommended the application for refusal in January as it would not supply "adequate on-site cycle and vehicle parking provision", as well as the flats not having "convenient storage or efficient waste collection".

Within the plans, a total of seven bicycle and parking spaces were created.

The officer added: "The proposed development by reason of its density, orientation, layout and siting would result in unacceptable levels of inter-overlooking with the neighbouring flats in High Street which would be detrimental to the amenity of the neighbouring occupiers and the living conditions of future occupiers of the proposed flats.

"The poor living conditions and quality of life of the future occupiers would be exacerbated by the lack of adequate or suitable on-site amenity space, including the provision of overlooked and overshadowed private amenity space for the ground floor flats, coupled with the small size of the flats."

However, an appeal letter from Colchester based developers, Stanfords said the "premises are located in a highly suitable and sustainable location for five one bed flats", stating Maldon District Council had "raised no concerns with regard to the design of the proposed extension".

The developer also said it has found a new office space to house the taxi business.

Under its appeal, Stanfords proposed to use the rest of the ground floor space to create larger flats within the development.

The letter added: "The scale and design of the scheme will complement the existing building and create a sensitive juxtaposition between the new and old, removing the former yard and car park, thereby enhancing the character of the conservation area.

"It is clear that this scheme represents a satisfactory form of development, with the ability to examine the issue of cycle parking and bin storage."