A plan to convert an 18th century building in Huntingdon’s Market Square into flats has been turned down by Huntingdon Town Council.

An application, lodged by St Neots developer Constant Properties Investments, to transform Wykeham House from offices into six one-bedroom flats and one two-bedroom flat has been met with opposition.

At a meeting of the authority's planning application panel on March 23 members voted to reject the plan after residents of neighbouring Walden House spoke against it.

Resident Andrew Bish told the meeting the plans were creating “the risk of the slums of the future” in terms of the number of flats that had been proposed for the Grade II-listed building.

“It does appear to be a very substantial, a very imposing building but what I would say is, it is very deceptive,” Mr Bish said.

“I'm a great fan of town centre living and absolutely support the development of good quality homes in the town centre, but I fear with this proposal, as it stands, is to shoehorn seven apartments into this relatively modest-sized building.”

Another resident, Peter Murphy, added the plans for Wykeham House would have

a knock-on effect to Walden House due to an extension proposed by developers.

Committee chairman, Councillor Sarah Gifford, said: “I think because it is such an attractive building on the Market Square it shouldn't be over-developed by seven flats, I think it should be two, maybe three.”

The application will now go to Huntingdonshire District Council's development management panel, which will have the final say on the proposals.