The £4.5m redevelopment of a Grade-2 listed mill in the village of Galgate, Lancaster, into 102 student flats has been refused by the council, despite the "good intentions" behind the plans.
The conversion of a five-storey mill and part of the car park at Galgate Silk Mill was proposed by developer UK Mills, which bought the mill in December 2013. The company is run by directors Ayub Hussain and Imtayez Patel.
Alongside the apartments, plans included communal facilities, a silk weaving museum and a café.
In a report to a planning committee meeting on 5 January, planning officers recommended the scheme be refused due to the loss of employment land, a risk of local congestion from the level of parking proposed, and an "unacceptable and poor standard of accommodation" for a number of the flats because of a lack of natural light.
However, the report acknowledged the "good intentions" of the developer to "preserve the mill for future generations to enjoy". In refusing UK Mills' plans, Lancaster Council said that it would enter into pre-application discussions with the developer to put together an alternative proposal.
UK Mills told Place North West that it was preparing to appeal the decision but would be willing to talk to planning officers to agree a mutually acceptable agreement.
Ashton Planning advised UK Mills on the scheme. The architect was Designs Ltd.