PLANS to convert a barn at a farm premises into a wedding venue have been knocked back.

The Star reported in October after proposals were drawn up seeking to turn 'The Hayloft' on Sandy Lane Farm on Sandy Lane, Bold Heath into a wedding and ceremony venue.

The planning application was submitted to St Helens Council by Emily Owen.

However, planning officer Jennifer Bolton refused the proposals citing inappropriate use of green belt and potential detrimental impact on residents due to noise.

The planning application had stated that The Hayloft was opened in August 2017 as a "diversification venture" to support the farm business and was launched as a cafe and provides a venue which is open to the public and already used for private functions.

They added: "Since its opening it has proved to be extremely popular as a local family attraction which is unsurprising given its location and the quality of the development".

The proposals added that the premises' existing function room is used "on frequent occasions for wedding services and receptions as well as a range of other special occasions".

The business employs 23 staff and plans said there is "scope to provide more employment opportunities with the ongoing development of the site".

Plans had claimed that the proposals are "compatible with the rural landscape character and is not detrimental to the green belt".

They added: "The proposals will ensure the continued success of the business which is a thriving local attraction that makes a significant contribution to the local community and its rural economy".

However, in rejecting the application, Ms Bolton said: "The change of use of the car park is inappropriate development in the green belt as it would not preserve the openness of the green belt and conflict with the purpose of including land in the green belt".

They added the "harm" which would be caused to the green belt "has not been outweighed by a case of very special circumstances".

The officer added that "insufficient evidence has been submitted with the application to demonstrate that the proposed development would not cause harm to protected species and their habitats".

They also said that there was insufficient evidence to "show that the proposed development would not have a detrimental impact on residential amenity because of undue noise and disturbance that may be caused by the proposed development".

It was also said the applicant had "failed to demonstrate that sufficient off street parking would be provided to accommodate the proposed use" and that "unacceptable harm could be caused to highway safety due to overspill parking on a narrow lane".

They also said the applicant had "failed to demonstrate that there would be safe and adequate vehicular, cycle and pedestrian access to and from, and circulation within the site".