PROPOSALS to renovate a landmark pub and reopen it as an Indian restaurant have angered local residents.

A petition objecting to plans to bring the former Woodlands Hotel, in Prest-on New Road, Blackburn, back into use as an eatery has been signed by nine neighbours, and will be considered by Blackburn with Darwen planning committee tomorrow.

Zain Patel, of HPA Solicitors, has submitted an application for permission to extend the rear, and side, of the empty building, transforming the downstairs into a restaurant, and the upstairs into a multi-purpose function room, with an outside terrace.

The plans include contemporary floor-to-ceiling glass entrances at the front and side of the building. There is existing planning permission for it to be used as a restaurant, and the new scheme would maintain the building’s architecture.

The protest petition claims the plans would be an overdevelopment of the site, and the rear extension and first-floor function hall would cause noise pollution.

It claims the new upstairs room would not be in keeping with the surr-ounding locality, there would be loss of privacy because of windows over-looking nearby properties, and the proposed development would worsen traffic congestion in Corporation Park and Beardwood.

Mr Patel hopes the new restaurant partnership with another company will sell Indian fusion food, and bring a ‘prominent building’ back into use.

Beardwood and Lammack Tory councillor Michael Lee, who supports the proposal, said: “I sincerely hope we can resolve the petitioners’ objections.

“I hope to arrange a meeting between the applicants and nearby resid-ents to achieve this.

“It would be a good thing to get this vacant building back into use. It’s been a bit of an eyesore for some time.

“I would have thought the area would benefit from having a good Indian restaurant, and hope it can all be done amicably.”

Mr Patel was unavailable to comment.

The committee has been advised to note the petition and take it into account when a future meeting decides whether to grant planning permission.