A CONTROVERSIAL bid to turn a Southampton art deco building into a student accommodation “monstrosity” has been thrown out.

The former Blockbuster building in Portswood Road will not be turned into a five-storey unit with 64 student flats.

The scheme, which also included plans for two retail units on the ground floor and a roof garden, was turned down by a planning inspector.

Developers Lainston Brookvale had appealed against a Southampton City Council decision two years ago to turn down the scheme.

At the time, Derek Burke, who was ward councillor for Bevois, said it should not be replaced “by some monstrosity of a building”.

But now an appeal to a Government planning inspector for the scheme, next to supermarket Waitrose, to be approved has been dismissed.

The inspector said: “The proposal would replace the existing building with a substantial development that would fill the site. The overall design would form a statement building dominating the junction of Portswood Road and Brookvale Road and the adjacent supermarket building.”

He added that the height and bulk of the building would dominate other development on Brookvale Road, including the closest Victorian houses.

“Such a dominant form across the whole width of the building on this road frontage would appear incongruous and harmful to this street. For these reasons, I conclude that the proposed development would harm the character and appearance of the area, in particular that of Brookvale Road”, he added.

Portswood councillor Lisa Mitchell said: “Although I wasn’t a councillor in 2017 I agreed with the decision of the panel. My main concerns over the design of the flats were the lack of amenity for residents. I would love to see the building used as some sort of community space. The building is becoming a bit of an eye sore with lots of graffiti all over it so I hope that something else comes forward soon.”

Lainston Brookvale was unable to provide a comment.