A REDUNDANT petrol station Bishop's Waltham can be converted into a hand car wash, planners have decided.

Mr F Sinani wanted retrospective approval for the change at the former Esso station on Winchester Road, which closed in around 2015.

There were 29 objections and one, John Williams spoke at the city council planning committee last Tuesday. He said it would have a negative impact on the character and appearance of the area.

Josie Wood, of Bishop's Waltham Parish Council, said there had been a petrol station on the site since at least the 1960s but its appearance has deteriorated. "This site is an industrial eyesore within in the conservation area. I ask that conditions are attached that the site is improved," suggesting planting and improved fencing.

Nick Parker, principal planning officer at the council, said the application was only considering the change of use and not issues such as fencing. "We sympathise, it is not particularly attractive in a conservation area. Hopefully improvements will be made."

He assured councillors that waste water would go into the main sewer and not in adjacent North Pond which is a SINC, a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation.

The planning committee approved the application by seven votes to one.