A BUILDING firm is determined to deliver a brighter future for the site of a former leisure hall despite a planning blow.

Plans to redevelop the former Bacup Leisure Hall, known as Bacup Hub, on Burnley Road have been refused by Rossendale Council.

Blackburn-based Euro Garages’ application for a drive-through retail outlet and filling station was blocked by planning officers under delegated powers.

The company says the proposed development would have created 34 jobs.

It would also have featured one of the first drive-through Greggs outlets in the country.

Tom Jeremiah, senior planning manager at Euro Garages, said: “We are really disappointed with the council’s decision to refuse this application.

“It would transform a building that is run-down and has been vacant for several years, and offer a boost to the local economy by investing in the area, creating jobs and delivering vital infrastructure.

“The reasons for refusal centred on the type of materials used in the design. Although we had agreed to use the council’s preferred option of a natural stone finish, the council’s officers wanted us to withdraw the application and resubmit with the amended details.

“We felt this was unnecessary as the council can extend an application time limit to allow changes to be made but in this instance, it instead decided to refuse the application. We are very puzzled by the council’s approach.

“Nevertheless, Euro Garages is committed to Bacup, and to this site, and we will be assessing our options in the coming weeks to ensure that we can deliver on this opportunity.”

The building was bought by Euro Garages in April this year after several attempts to relaunch the facilities in recent years proved unsuccessful.