An abandoned builders’ offices and yard directly opposite Old Town’s landmark Christ Church will be demolished and replaced with flats.

Developer Keogh Contractors has been given permission to knock down the store and offices that used to belong to Pope Brothers and put up 12 flats – despite concerns about a lack of parking.

The plans by architect Ian Sullivan shows the existing buildings to the left of the site would be replaced by an L-shaped block housing six apartments with another building across the courtyard knocked down for three homes.

An old Mission Hall which had been used as a store is to be converted into two apartments.

Twelve parking spaces are planned on the site, one for each apartment.

Mr Sullivan, acting as agent for Clifton Street-based Keogh Contractors, said: “The buildings will reflect the history and nature of existing buildings in Old Town and will be sympathetic to the area’s identity and its rich and varied past.”

He said designs had been tweaked along Church Road to ensure that views of Christ Church, a Grade II-listed building, were not impeded.

The reapplication for conversion of the site had won the approval of planning officers who had recommended the committee give permission.

The opportunity to develop the site appealed to some members of the planning committee, Malcolm Davies told the meeting: “This tidies up an important area of Old Town.

But even for those councillors who liked the scheme, there were worries about whether one parking space per flat would be adequate.

Paul Dixon said: “I had concerns with the previous application about density and access.

“The access on Cricklade Street has been moved back and I’m glad those concerns have been addressed

“But we all have concerns about parking provision whenever a development comes forward in Old Town or Eastcott.”

That was echoed by fellow ward councillor Stan Pajak.

He said: “There is a worry that with so few spaces casual parkers will be attracted to use the free car park at Christ Church and that will impact upon users of the church.”

Old Town member Nick Burns-Howell was even more concerned. “I understand there is a balance here to be made and the agent has done a lot of work based on feedback on the previous proposals.

“But I can’t support this on the grounds that the parking is inadequate,” he said.

The plans were passed by 11 votes to one.