A PUB chain has won its long-running battle to open a beer garden at its new premises in Colne.

Wetherspoons was given planning permission for the beer garden at the former King's Head, Church Street, which has been empty since the Olives Greek restaurant closed a year ago, after the committee heard it risked the chain pulling out of the deal.

When planning permission was initially granted to turn the building back into a pub, councillors blocked plans for a terrace and beer garden at the back, banning all activity outside the building.

Residents in Walton Street, which leads to the back of the building, said they feared late-night noise and nuisance if the pub's renewed application was allowed.

But owner Catherine Rhodes told Pendle Council's Colne and District Committee that it risked Wetherspoons pulling out of the sale deal and the historic building being boarded up.

She said: "Why should Wetherspoons be the only pub in Colne not to have a customer activity outside?

"This property can be brought alive again or this historic building can be left to be boarded up, added to the problem sites list and be a potential threat to businesses in Church Street which are only just about managing to survive as it is."

Councillors agreed to give the pub a 12-month trial period for the beer garden, and also added extra conditions to improve soundproofing. The outside area will not be used after 10pm.

Councillor Tony Greaves said: "What worries me is that in the summer people will be out there for quite some time and it is unlikely that all nuisance can be stopped for people in Walton Street.

"But if we turn this down and Wetherspoons persist, they will go to appeal and they will win. Despite the fact that all my gut instincts say to turn it down, I'm going to go for this temporary approval and I hope they will accept that."