The developer behind plans to build a five-storey apartment block in Weybridge has withdrawn its appeal against the original refusal of the idea.

Cleanslate has submitted two applications to Elmbridge Borough Council to build on the former Trident Honda garage site, in Queens Road.

The first plan included 17 one-bed, 30 two-bed and four three-bed apartments, together with 52 basement parking spaces and two retail units.

However, in March last year a planning committee at the borough council refused the application on the grounds it would be ‘inappropriate’ and ‘totally out of character’ with the area.

Cleanslate decided to appeal the decision, while submitting a second, scaled-down application for 46 flats.

Last week this proposal was again turned down by borough councillors. Now the developer has decided to withdraw its original appeal.

Nick Thripp, an objector of the plans who lives in nearby Princes Road, has welcomed the move.

He said: “It looks as though even the developers realised they would have been trying to defend the indefensible.

“I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of them and no doubt they’ll be back with an appeal against the last refusal or another fresh application, cosmetically enhanced but in reality barely different from the last one, or perhaps both.”

Mr Thripp warned against any intention to wear residents down.

“In fact, as the growing number of objections and the large and vociferous turnout at the last west area planning sub committee shows, all they’re doing is making residents even more determined to resist having one of their monstrous developments imposed on Queens Road village,” he said.

Electric vehicle company Tesla currently occupies the site. Mr Thripp added that any move by the dealership to extend its lease would be ‘most acceptable to residents’.

Brian Norton, chairman of Cleanslate, explained the reasons behind the withdrawal.

He said: “Before submitting our second application we undertook a public exhibition at which we were encouraged to submit the revised design. It is of high quality while providing modern, stylish homes fit for the 21st century.

“For this reason, we decided to withdraw our appeal for the first application.

“Importantly, our second application provides the opportunity for the younger generation to own in Weybridge since our apartments will be at prices affordable to younger people.

“Providing we are ultimately successful in planning terms, most of the units are likely to retail below the Help to Buy threshold, whereas a lot of recent and current developments offer larger units aimed at the equity rich downsizer market.”

Source: www.getsurrey.co.uk