ACCRINGTON may soon have a new venue for Asian weddings on the site of a former church.
The Methodist Church on Richmond Road could be converted into a function room and restaurant.
The ground-floor function room could accommodate 150 people and the restaurant, which would be on the first floor, could take up to 160.
Hyndburn Council’s Planning Committee deferred a decision on the application as it was unhappy that only 44 parking spaces would be available but it recognised the need for improvements at the church, which was described as “a stunning piece of architecture’’.
A spokesman for the applicant, Nazakat Ali, told the committee only one floor of the venue would be used at any one time to alleviate parking problems.
But councillors were not convinced.
Councillor Dave Parkins said: “It’s quite clear in the report that there are problems with parking. Why would the applicant spend all that money on the building and use only one floor?”
Councillor Clare Pritchard said: “I find myself in a real dilemma. I do see the problems with parking but it's an imposing building and I would like to see back in use.”
The building is presently classified as a snooker hall but is being used as a mosque, which would continue if the new plans went ahead.
If the application was approved, the function room and restaurant would be built at the rear of the mosque.
Councillor Munsif Dad said: “As the councillor for the ward I know the building. It’s a focal point for Richmond Road. I certainly welcome this proposal but there are some objections that need to be looked at.”