CONTROVERSIAL artist Damien Hirst has outraged Dudbridge residents with plans to build an art studio which uses animal carcasses for art just metres from their doorsteps.

Mr Hirst, whose sculptures include a dead shark in pickled formaldehyde, a severed cow's head being attacked by maggots and a rotting cow and a bull which was banned from exhibition in New York by public health officials, has already been granted permission to build a factory-style studio at the site in Dudbridge Road, Stroud.

Now he wants planning permission to extend the building, which includes an abbatoir rail, a fish preparation area and a 50-kilolitre formaldahyde tank.

The site has been empty since car parts manufacturer Automold left three years ago.

Nearby residents, who say they were unaware of the gruesome details until Stroud District Council informed them of the revised plans, are furious about the scheme.

A petition against it has been started and placards with slogans such as 'say no 2 abbatoir' have been erected at the site.

"I was quite shocked to think that we are going to have that opposite here," said mum-of-two Sharon Wright, 41, who lives in Constance Close, across the road from the site.

"We have got a disabled child in the family and we are quite concerned about her health.

"I sit in my garden quite a bit as well and the people I have spoken to say the smell is going to be absolutely awful.

"The thought of it being there for years to come is terrible."

And Vicky Radwell, of nearby Cromwell Terrace, said she was appalled by the plans.

"I can't believe he can use dead animals as art," she said.

"I believe that he's just a business man.

"I find it really weird that it's in the middle of a residential area. If you're going to take slaughtered cows somewhere, take them to a farm."

Philip Skill, head of planning at SDC, said: "The public can be assured that changes in the proposed plans will be thoroughly checked by our environmental health officers to assess that they meet safety and environmental concerns.

"Additionally, we should point out that the site is part of an industrial estate, which by its very nature accommodates operations and procedures which are regulated through statutory controls."

Consultation on the plans ends tomorrow, Thursday, and a decision is expected by May 3.

A spokesman for Mr Hirst was unavailable for comment.