PLANS to replace a long-running car dealership with a new 40-home development are set to go before city planning chiefs tonight.

Paynes Road Vehicles Sales and MOT centre will be bulldozed to make way for the complex, which comprises 31 flats and nine houses.

Focusing more on couples and small families, the flats will be mainly two-bedroom (20) with three three-bed and eight one-bed also in the two complex blocks. Nine three-bed homes will also be built, according to the plans.

Three of these, along with a entrance road, will be built on the site of the current car dealers for access onto Paynes Road.

Plans suggest that the apartment complexes will be between two and 3.5 storeys tall.

The site will also push out behind the dealership, resulting in the existing commercial buildings being demolished.

Nevertheless, applicant Mr D Waldron has also applied to build up to two light industrial units, providing 464 square metres of floorspace. However, this will be separate to the housing site, with access only from Pitt Road.

Officers have earmarked the outline planning application – which seeks council permission for its layout, size and access – for approval.

The dealership did not respond to a request for comment.

The business had recently hit headlines after former employee Patrick Richardson was found to be accessing the garage’s internal system to book and “complete” fake MOT tests for his friends and family.

Manager at Paynes Road MOT John Mayhew branded Richardson’s actions as “disgusting” and said it could have caused “carnage”.

It was also ravaged by fire in 2015, destroying the roof and front office of the business.

Regarding the development, one resident of Paynes Road, Jeremy Hayes, voiced his objection to the scheme, fearing overlooking and added pressure to local parking.

“I believe that to provide 40 dwellings with only 51 car parking spaces will place an undue burden on the already oversubscribed parking in the local area,” he said.

“How can a three bedroom house deserve two spaces, but a three bedroom flat only require one? Even in the single bedroom apartments there is the possibility for two car-owning adults.

“And two visitor spaces for 40 houses?! Really quite ridiculous!”

Fellow resident Kate O’Sullivan said: “I understand that the site is in need of redevelopment and housing is very much needed. However, I think the number of households for this site is too dense. The impact on current residents both in Paynes Road and Richmond Road could prove to be detrimental.

“There doesn’t seem to be enough parking allocated in the proposals which will mean a negative effect on the parking situation on Paynes Road which is already problematic.”

She added: “Another worrying impact will be the effect the development’s entrance will have on the traffic, particularly in view of where it’s situated on the main road.”

Nevertheless, several residents do support the scheme.

Jake Kavanagh and Denise Brehaut, of Richmond Road, said: “We live directly behind the proposed development, and welcome the outline plan, with a couple of reservations.

“Firstly, the height of the development should remain as stated in the outline, and not changed as the application proceeds. Bringing higher storey buildings further towards Richmond Road would greatly reduce the light, and increase the overlooking of the properties there.

“The plan for a ‘light industrial unit’ should be dropped, and the whole development should be residential.

“So, yes to the housing plan, but no to the inclusion of an industrial unit, as it will simply become another nuisance garage.”