THE MAN behind a bid for a large wedding venue refused by planners says he will consider appealing the decision.

Plans to transform the former Winners Discount Megastore building into a restaurant, banqueting hall, wedding and events venue were lodged earlier this year.

The venue in New Hall Hey Road, Rawtenstall, would have catered for up to 1,000 guests and created 60 jobs and be used for 'high-end’ functions, weddings, exhibitions and other large events.

But the proposals were thrown out by Rossendale Council after concerns including parking, noise and congestion from traffic at the town centre site were raised by residents and councillors. A petition opposing the development had attracted 227 signatures, although a counter-petition in support has been backed by 48 people.

And applicant Adeel Saleem said the decision has left him ‘very disappointed’.

He said: “The plans were recommended for approval by the planning department and highways had no objections.

“But the plans were refused after concerns from councillors.

“In terms of parking, there are 180 plus spaces for cars on the site and two coach parking spaces. There is no other venue in Lancashire that could offer this much parking so I thought the parking was more than enough.

“So I’m very disappointed at the decision and will consider appealing it.”

But Cllr Steve Hughes, who spoke out against the plans at the planning committee meeting, said: “The venue would have a detrimental impact on the area.

“The parking and transport infrastructure to cope with hundreds of guests is not there.

“Forty residents have come forward with concerns about these plans.

“The site does need development but this isn’t suitable.”