CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn an Alresford therapy centre into a funeral directors have been approved.

Graham Deacon's application for 24 The Dean, The Healthway Centre, was met by 31 objectors who signed a petition – saying the building would upset people living in the nearby retirement homes.

But at a Winchester City Council planning committee, the plans were given the green light.

The petition, signed mostly by local residents, said: "We, the undersigned, strongly object to the proposed siting of a Funeral Parlour at 24 The Dean, Alresford.

"The siting of such a business, both adjacent to and opposite a large number of retirement homes will have an upsetting emotional impact on many people.

"There will also be the increased volume of traffic caused by a 24 hour business. It is well documented that the siting of such a business in a residential area adversely affects the buying and selling potential of residential properties in the immediate vicinity."

Another objector, Clive Earthy, said it "doesn't make sense" to approve the plans.

He said: "The Dean in Alresford has already started relocating and closing down its commercial companies/businesses and releasing the land gained for building new residential houses and dwellings, already planned and approved to be built, thus making The Dean area at totally residential accommodation area.

"So it makes no sense granting at this time permission for a new commercial industrial business to be opened in The Dean! Let alone one that could totally depend on a 24 hour transportation access going and coming into this residential area, with already a difficult road junction at the B3046/The Dean/Jacklyns Lane, Alresford."