A councillor said planners must decide what to do with former places of worship after plans to turn a church into flats were rejected over parking issues.

A scheme to turn the Elim Pentecostal Church in Colwyn Bay into 19 flats went before Conwy county council’s planning committee.

The plans on behalf of Manchester developer Gothic & Stone would have seen four studio flats, four one bed flats and 11 two bed flats available for sale or rent.

However the £3m development on Woodland Road West was rejected by councillors over parking issues, which echoed advice from officers who called it a “serious concern”.

Colwyn Bay Town council supported “the principle” of revamping the site but considered the proposal over-development.

It said: “The previously approved application for 12 apartments with basement parking is considered to be a more appropriate development for a site of this size.”

There was no provision for on-site parking and a proposal for parking passes for nearby car parks was deemed insufficient.

Planning officer Ceri Thomas said it “doesn’t even meet the basic parking provision of one space per property”.

Cllr Andrew Hinchliff (Bryn ward, Llanfairfechan) said he agreed parking was a problem but the council needed to look at the issue of vacated places of worship.

He said: “I appreciate the car parking but in Llanfairfechan we have four churches that will be reduced to one.

“This is going to happen a great deal over the next year. We have to think there will be lots of old churches.

“A lot of these buildings are no longer viable and we have got to have a plan for them.”

Cllr Alan Hunter (Abergele/Pensarn ward) said there we “so many positives” but he accepted there were issues with parking.

He added: “There are going to be a lot of these buildings but we will have to take each one on merit.”

Originally opened in 1879 as the Engedi Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel, it became the Elim Pentecostal Church in the 1990s but has lain dormant for 20 years.

Cllr Nigel Smith (Kinmel Bay) said: “This is a difficult one because clearly the local neighbourhood want to see this derelict building tidied up and resurrected but I feel the price is too great.

“The size of the units and the car parking are too high a price to pay for getting this property tidied up.

“I propose we accept the officers’ recommendation to refuse.”

The committee voted by 12, to one abstention, to refuse the application.