A PLAN to demolish a former working men’s club and build flats was narrowly backed by councillors despite concerns over parking.

Rainbow Hill Working Men’s Club in Mayfield Road in Worcester, which has been vacant since July last year, will be demolished and replaced with 22 new flats after plans were backed by Worcester City Council’s planning committee.

The club closed last summer due to falling membership numbers and has been empty ever since.

Cllr Alan Amos was concerned about the number of parking spaces and voted against the plan.

“Nobody disagrees that in accordance with the county’s guidelines there is a shortfall of six [car parking spaces in the plan] and I was surprised to be told that it won’t have an effect on existing residents but of course it will,” he said.

“All we are doing here is seriously exacerbating a situation, that everybody will agree, is pretty dire at the moment.

“My understanding of development is that it should not be at a greatly disproportionate adverse impact on existing residents.”

Cllr Amos said he had no problems with housing being built but could not understand why it had to be at the expense of people already living in the street.

Cllr Marjory Bisset said the current building was an eyesore and the housing was needed but felt the plan was the wrong one for the site.

“I don’t like this development,” she said.

Cllr Jo Hodges said she was not concerned by the shortfall of six car parking spaces and said the “eyesore” needed to be knocked down. Cllr Hodges was backed by planning chairman Cllr Chris Mitchell.

The building has become the setting for anti-social behaviour including drug taking in recent months, according to developer PM Finishers.

Dozens of objections were made during public consultation with one objector in Mayfield Road saying the flats would be overbearing and out-of-character for the area.

Another objector said more cars on an already busy one-way street which has double yellow lines would be concerning.

A total of 16 one-bed and six two-bed flats across three floors would be built as well as 22 car parking spaces.

Worcestershire County Council’s highways department raised no objection.

The plan was backed by six votes to four with one abstention.