Caerphilly Council planners have rejected a bid to open a Chinese massage parlour because the application “fails to demonstrate” the existing premises is “surplus to requirements”.

Planning officers disputed applicant Ka Long Lin’s claims that a dental surgery, at 4 Clive Street in the town, was ripe for redevelopment.

He had proposed converting the property into a “Chinese traditional massage and wellbeing centre”, with a “peaceful and restorative environment”.

But council officers said the loss of “existing community facilities” was only acceptable in planning policy if replacements can be provided or “it can be demonstrated the facility is surplus to requirements”.

In a report explaining their reasons for refusing the massage parlour proposal, the officers said “the applicant has submitted limited information with regard to the future of the surgery”, and a claim the premises would become vacant “has not been evidenced”.

“While it may be the case that the property, in its existing guise, is surplus to requirements, this cannot be assumed on the basis of anecdotal evidence presented to date,” the council planners said in their report.

They added: “In the absence of evidence, such as an advertisement or a corroboration of the market situation from any agents involved, the proposed development fails to demonstrate that the dental surgery is surplus to requirements.”

Caerphilly Council also received one objection from a community member, who said there “remains high demand for the dental surgery”.