Plans to develop showroom spark nearly 200 letters

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OWNERS of a car dealership are planning to demolish two homes they own to expand their workshop.

Nearly 200 letters have been sent to the council over the plans, with many in support.

But residents living near the Fine Cars showroom at Elmore Road and Portsmouth Road in Lee-on-the-Solent are unhappy with the plans.

Father and son team Brett and Howard Duke own the firm and want to secure their future as a Kia dealership.

As previously reported in The News, the pair had planned for more than a decade to move to the former airfield at HMS Daedalus but were not allowed.

Brett Duke said extending the showroom would allow the firm to move work done outside into the building.

That includes replacing tyres, which objectors raised as a concern over the noise of the procedures.

Mr Duke said: ‘All we’re really trying to do is secure jobs, and at the end of the day, keep the business going.

‘It’s not an expansion or the business growing, it’s not actually about that.

‘We have standards to comply to as well, we can’t just drift along forever 
with the same old machinery and the same systems in place.

‘Every now and again we have to raise the bar.’

The plans include 11 new off-road car parking spaces with improved access to the car showroom.

The plans say the demolition of the bungalows has been discussed with the current occupants.

Geoffrey Parker, of Elmore Road, has objected saying the extension will reduce the light to his property.

He said: ‘There are few parking spaces outside of the properties in the vicinity of the Fine Cars garage as they are permanently occupied by customers’ cars attending the garage.

‘This is an almost entirely residential area and in my opinion more commercial development should not be allowed.’

He added that a number of people who had written in to support the application did not live in the area.

Sheila Baron, also of Elmore Road, is concerned that solar panels on her home will be obstructed.

She said: ‘This proposed extension is far too large and intrusive for the area.’