A BID for a business to move its offices has been approved despite controversy.

Baker Clarke Accountants - based in Tolleshunt Major - resubmitted an application to convert the barn behind Hill Barn in Rectory Lane in Woodham Mortimer into its new offices.

Its initial proposal was refused by Maldon District Council in January as it said the bid would result in a "harmful visual impact due to the urbanisation of the site".

The applicant's agent said at a council meeting on Wednesday, December 1, the applicants have since engaged in discussions to address the outstanding issues.

According to the new application planning statement, Baker Clarke has been established in the district for more than 11 years and it would have had to "seriously consider" a move outside of the district if refused.

Read more: Business' bid to move into much-needed new offices proves controversial

The planning officer recommended approval of the scheme as it "would provide an ‘employment generating’ use in the area and could potentially support an existing and established business".

But the plans had received objections, including a recommendation of refusal from Woodham Mortimer with Hazeleigh Parish Council.

An objector speaking at the meeting raised concerns such as drainage, lighting and hours of operation and the control of adverts on the site.

Sue White, councillor for Purleigh, said at the meeting: "Of all the businesses there could be it's effectively an owner-run business - its an office - its the least offensive business you could have and you know what, we need jobs, children going forward need jobs.

"These barns, yeah they look okay but they're all falling down and unless people use them for businesses or residential they won't be there in 10 years time so I actually applaud the applicant.

"They've done what the application was turned down for before, they've removed some of the windows, they're not altering it at all."

The application was approved unanimously in line with the officer's recommendations and with extra conditions noted.