Plans to transform a Bury St Edmunds car showroom into a church have been refused by the district council. 

An application for the change of use of the Cecil & Larter Seat car dealership at Fairview House in Lamdin Road was received by West Suffolk Council in June last year. 

In the plans, the car showroom would have been transformed into a church complete with offices, community spaces, car and cycle parking to allow applicant The C3 Church, a modern Christian church founded in 1982, to move in. 

Bury St Edmunds Town Council recommended approval of the plans.

On Thursday, June 6 this year, however, West Suffolk Council officers decided to refuse the change of use proposal.

In a report, officers wrote: "The community benefits are noted and respected, however this is not considered to outweigh the harm associated with the loss of a business unit within a designated employment area.

"The proposal is considered to conflict with the desire of the local plan, specifically DM30, to protect these areas for business growth."