A controversial plan to turn a DIY store into a massage parlour has been given the go-ahead despite concerns it could turn customers away from other shops on the high street.

Denham DIY, on Station Parade in Denham Green, will be converted after councillors backed plans to turn it into a Thai massage and wellbeing clinic.

As the Free Press revealed last week, the proposal was facing opposition from Denham Parish Council, which objected over concerns about parking in the area.

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This worry was aired by councillor Guy Hollis at a planning meeting earlier this week.

Despite claiming he was not opposed to the business idea, he added: “We are talking about 72 daily vehicle movements from this premises as opposed to to the current 41.

“These customers are not the sort of people picking up a sandwich from the cafe, a prescription, a pint of milk or a takeaway.

“These people are going to be there for at least half an hour to an hour.

“The parade has limited parking. It is completely rammed most of the time.

“If you are taking up seven spaces out of the 35 that are there… that is going to have an effect on the commercial viability neighbouring businesses.

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“People are already looking at small towns with a lack of parking and think ‘I’m going to the big supermarket on the edge of town where there is free parking.

“I’m afraid I think this business will have an adverse effect on other businesses.”

A planning officer responding to Cllr Hollis’s claims said no objections were raised to the plan from other businesses, and that parking at the parade is limited so staff would not park there.

The officer also said visitors to the parlour would most likely visit in the early evening when the other stores were less busy.

Councillor David Anthony hit back, however, suggesting the introduction of the clinic would boost business locally.

He said: “We all know that the environment for high street retail has changed enormously of late and very much for the worse.

“I’m surprised there are objections about somebody who is willing to bring a business into the area.

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“It means people will be coming in who undoubtedly use the other facilities.”

Cllr Santokh Chhokar backed up Cllr Anthony, claiming any objections based on parking were “unsustainable.”

A Mr Chang, an agent for the application, addressed the key concerns councillors had made at the start of the meeting.

He added: “We will work together with the neighbourhood and the residents to make sure this proposal will be implemented according to the plan.”

Following the discussion, all councillors voted in favour of the plan with the exception of Cllr Hollis.

This means the applicant, Mrs Sukanya Ng, can change the use of the premises from a hardware shop to a ‘by appointment only’ business.

As part of her application, she has requested permission for “interchangeable use” allowing it to revert back if demand is “insufficient”.

The current business has been there since before March 2013.

Mrs Ng runs a “successful” chain of massage and wellbeing clinics throughout London and South Buckinghamshire called Nuad Thai, according to council documents.

The South Buckinghamshire area planning committee met on Tuesday, October 27.