Plans for a five-storey block of flats in Aldershot town centre have been approved despite objectors calling it "ugly".

Talbot Properties applied to Rushmoor Borough Council’s development committee for permission to demolish a commercial building on the corner of Victoria Road and Crimea Road.

It will build a block of 56 one, two and three-bedroom flats on the site, above a car park with 71 spaces.

A report prepared for the committee by a council case officer said the scheme was “acceptable in principle” as the site is within an already built-up area of Aldershot and the existing building is vacant.

It added that there would be “no harmful impact upon the visual character and appearance of the area” and “no adverse impact on neighbours”.

The case officer found the proposed block would not overshadow neighbours as it is surrounded by a car dealership, the four-storey base of local charity Step By Step and a five-storey block of flats at Printing House Court.

The development would have a design that “emulated features of nearby modern developments”, with space for landscape planting in raised beds to soften the building’s appearance from Victoria Road, the report noted.

It added that 20 of the flats would be offered as affordable housing, while the developer had agreed to make a contribution of more than £137,000 towards local transport improvements.

An artist's impression of a block of 56 flats which could be built on the corner of Victoria Road and Crimea Road in Aldershot, following demolition of a vacant building
An artist's impression of a block of 56 flats which could be built on the corner of Victoria Road and Crimea Road in Aldershot, following demolition of a vacant building

However, the council’s housing officer warned that the three-bedroom flats may be too small to be used by people with mobility issues.

He also said the developer had to make sure service charges for the communal areas of the development were also affordable.

The plans attracted seven letters of objection from the Aldershot Civic Society, borough councillor Mike Roberts and neighbours.

One of the objectors said: “Architecturally, this is a poor design. I realise that it has been designed to reflect the architecture in the area, but frankly it is ugly in a way that modern architecture does not have to be.

“This is an opportunity to build a talking point, something that people will be proud to live in rather than something that looks like a converted office block.

“We need to think of the future of the town, not just the short term opportunity to make money and meet housing quotas.”