CONTROVERSIAL plans to demolish a garage for a new retail unit and six flats have been turned down.

Wickham Garage Ltd unveiled plans to demolish Beacon Hill Garage in Wickham Bishops in October.

The demolition would be to make way for a new three-storey building with a retail unit at ground floor and six apartments on floors above.

Drawings show the shop would have been a Co-op.

Proposals also included associated service yard, plant area, bike and bin storage and amenity areas.

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There would be two car parks with 11 spaces each at the site in Maypole Road with one serving the retail unit and the other serving the residential apartments.

Opposite the site is The Mitre, a grade II listed building.

The proposals were recommended for refusal by Wickham Bishops Parish Council and planning officers at Maldon District Council.

Maldon and Burnham Standard: How the building for the new flats and shop could've lookedHow the building for the new flats and shop could've looked

Essex Highways said the proposal was not acceptable as it said it would result in an "unacceptable" degree of hazard for both emerging and approaching vehicles.

It also considered the overall parking provision to be inadequate for the retail element of the proposal.

A total of 16 objection letters were received in response to the application.

One objector said: "The planned development is frankly preposterous.

We already have a convenience store and health food shop in the village that are more than adequate for the needs of the community.

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"There is no need for an additional store. All it will do is generate increased traffic and increased HGV use of roads that are completely unsuitable."

However, agents Archer Architects said the building would not have a detrimental impact on the amenity of the neighbouring occupiers.

Maldon District Council turned down the plans on Wednesday, May 4.

The decision notice says: "The harm from the development, including the impact on The Mitre and the character of the area, the loss of the employment opportunities, the impact on the local highway network, the impact on the neighbouring occupiers and the poor quality of the future accommodation, is considered to significantly outweigh the benefits of the proposed development."