councillors have given the green light to a controversial planning application for the change of use of a shop to a cafe and wine bar on the main street into Colne.
The property at the junction of Lord Street and Albert Road has been empty for many years, but applicant Mrs Kathryn Hooks has been converting it in recent weeks and councillors praised for improving its appearance.
However, residents living in Brown Street West objected to the plans, citing potential noise nuisance, food odours and highway safety as their main reasons.
Mrs Hooks told Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee her plans had been backed by other local businesses and said that cafe culture could enhance Colne in the same way similar outlets had done in Hebden Bridge and Skipton.
“Some people have said Colne is crying out for a cafe and I hope that local residents will use it,” she said.
Residents said there were parking problems in the area already with a dentist, hairdressers, the Muni Theatre and two restaurants and odours from five food outlets.
Mrs Hooks said her customers would be encouraged to use nearby public car parks rather than local streets.
Coun. Joe Cooney said he was pleased to see the building brought back into use, while Coun. David Clegg said that a condition should be attached to the permission preventing the rear yard being used as a smoking area and restricting the use of the rear door to emergencies.
Speaking against the change of use, Coun. Ann Kerrigan said a petition signed by 27 people had been submitted. “We cannot overlook the views of 27 people. Not everyone has been told about this and we should defer the matter for talks between all parties,” she said.
Her amendment, however, failed to find a seconder and permission was granted with Coun. Clegg’s suggested condition agreed.