PLANS to transform a derelict site in a Hampshire town centre have been approved - despite claims the scheme will worsen "horrendous" parking problems.

Civic chiefs have approved an application to replace a derelict building in Rumbridge Street, Totton, with seven one-bedroom flats and a commercial unit.

It follows a 12-year debate about the future of the site, which has been at the centre of several previous planning applications.

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The latest scheme, by Templeton Stockbridge, was approved at an online meeting of the district council's planning committee - despite the applicant's decision not to include any off-street parking.

Objector Jan Batty, of nearby Osborne Road, highlighted the "horrendous" parking problems that already existed in the area.

Earlier this year Mrs Batty warned the council that Osborne Road was already being used an as overspill car park.

Her letter also cited problems likely to be caused by vehicles making deliveries to the proposed new commercial unit, especially when the train gates in nearby Junction Road were closed to traffic.

Templeton Stockbridge was represented at the meeting by planning agent Ben Kelly, who claimed the flats would be occupied by people who did not need cars.

Mrs Batty replied: “While I'd really like to believe none of the residents will have cars, the potentially is there could be two cars per household.”

Cllr Arthur Davis added: "People are going to park in Osborne Road, where it’s horrific parking. It’s going to be a massive problem in the future.”

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But other councillors stressed the scheme would provide much-needed affordable housing.

Cllr Barry Dunning said: “There are seven valuable, single-bedroom flats – it’s very necessary to have small units in a place like Totton.”

Cllr Kate Crisell added: “We need to get this site up and running as soon as possible.”

As reported in the Daily Echo, the application was due to have been decided at last month's meeting of the committee.

But at least one councillor left the session, which meant the number of members available to make a decision fell below the legal minimum.