A dance school has been dealt a fresh blow after experts recommended its plan to relocate to an industrial unit should be dismissed for a second time.

Complete Dance is seeking planning permission to change the use of an empty industrial unit in Wheaton Road, Witham, from employment to a dance and fitness studio.

The school argues it needs to move from its current location in Maldon Road to help it expand and meet growing demand.

A change of use application was refused by Braintree Council back in April due to concerns about losing employment facilities in Witham.

And planning officers are again arguing this is why a second application submitted by Complete Dance should be refused in a report, which has been published ahead of a crunch meeting next week.

Officers have recommended councillors refuse permission to change the use of the building during the meeting, where they will have a final vote on the scheme.

The report which they will discuss states: "The proposal would result in the loss of an employment unit, reducing the floor space available for employment uses, in a suitable location protected for such uses.

"Evidently, the proposal would undermine the council’s policy approach to meeting the current and future office space demand in the district.

"It is acknowledged that benefits would arise from the proposal, in terms of providing a leisure facility to promote health and wellbeing, but the application site is not in an appropriate location for such a leisure use and the health benefit does not mitigate against the aforementioned policy conflict."

Support for Complete Dance's application is said to be strong in the community and 28 letters of support have been submitted to Braintree Council over the plans.

Home Secretary Priti Patel is also in favour of the proposals and branded the council "inflexible" due to its insistence the dance school cannot use the industrial unit as a studio.

Council bosses have offered to provide the school with advice on "more suitable locations" for its new home.

Next week's meeting takes place on Tuesday at 7.15pm at Causeway House in Bocking End.