A Burnley car dealer has been allowed to continue to use a former garden near his premises to store vehicles following a nearby mosque being granted a car park.

Sultan Alam has been granted backdated planning permission to keep 17 cars on the former open land in March Street, Stoneyholme, with seven conditions.

A Burnley Council planning officer's report recommending approval said: "The application site relates to a modest, rectangular shaped parcel of land located to the north of March Street, Burnley.

"The site appears to be being used for the informal storage of vehicles and has a loose gravel surface.

"However, it appears that it was previously and lawfully some form of private amenity space until at least July 2022.

"Therefore, the existing use and surfacing are not lawful for planning purposes and the application is assessed on this basis.

"The application seeks full planning permission for the change of use of garden land to a car storage area with 17 spaces, including landscaping and 1.5-metre high green wire gates.

"The submitted planning statement explains that the applicant operates a nearby car dealership and seeks to use the land for spill-over.

"It continues that, whilst the site has been used informally for such purposes for some time, they now seek to regularise the use with a formalised layout and fencing.

"The applicant has referred to a decision to grant full planning permission for the change of use of Burnley Council-owned public amenity land to a car park on nearby Brougham Street in November 2018.

"The carpark has been laid out and serves the adjacent Jamie Madjid Abubakr mosque.

"In the case of the mosque carpark, the delegated report found the loss of public amenity space and the impact on residents’ amenity acceptable.

"Consistency in decision making is a well-established in principle in planning law and a previous decision is capable of being a material consideration.

"Whilst the circumstances of the proposal and the mosque carpark are not directly comparable, there are some similarities between them.

"The proposal would result in the loss of the amenity space.

"The proposed landscaping would soften the impact of the proposal and in contrast to the previous vegetation could be protected by a condition.

"Therefore, having regard to the context and the mosque car park decision, it would be difficult to sustain an argument that the proposed car storage would have an unacceptable impact on the character and appearance of the area."