An appeal has been launched after the council said plans to turn empty shops into flats would create "inadequate living conditions" for residents.

Ipswich Borough Council refused the application, for Garrick Way in Castle Hill, over concerns that the submitted plans would not have adequate natural light to be considered habitable.

The plans, originally submitted by Sterling State Lettings in April 2023, would see work carried out at a series of former retail units which have been vacant since January 2022.

The building is a part of the Garrick Way Local Centre, which comprises shops including a convenience store, a barber and a Co-op.

The proposals included two one-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom flats in the area, which is surrounded by many other residential properties.

The application was refused by Ipswich Borough Council in May 2023, and an appeal document submitted on January 29 this year.

The application was rejected because the submitted plans for the flats were deemed to not have adequate natural light to be considered habitable.

According to the decision notice issued by the council, light coming into the bedrooms would be limited due to the position of the windows and another building nearby.

"As these rooms are considered habitable rooms a reasonable level of light, such as morning light, is to be expected to achieve adequate living conditions for residents," the decision notice said.

"Without adequate natural light the development would fail to provide an acceptable living standard contrary to the requirements of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework)."

The appeal application, however, said that each habitable room has at least one window, proportionate and appropriate to the size of the rooms, and the site would benefit from "more than adequate" natural light.

Another concern raised was that inadequate parking was provided for residents in the plans, as no on-site or off-street car parking was included.

However, appeal documents from the applicant state that the application was for prior approval, that there is ample on-street parking, and the location is well-connected, with bus stops and services and facilities nearby.