PLANS to demolish the former Theatre Church and build nine houses on the site will be debated by councillors — following a raft of objections to the proposals.

The application to build the family houses in Seymour Road, Astley Bridge, will now be discussed by the council’s planning committee on Thursday, September 25.

Owners of the former Theatre Church, now Crystal Theatre, Function and Wedding Halls, want to demolish the building to make way for the development.

It was originally due to be approved by the council, under delegated powers, but will now be discussed by councillors after a number of objections were received.

A council spokesman said: “As we have now received representations objecting to the application and a request from councillors that the application be determined by the planning committee, the intention is that the application will be presented to committee at the meeting on September 25.

“On this basis, the consultation period has been extended until September 5 and people can still submit comments. The officer report and recommendation will not be finalised until Wednesday, September 17.”

The council’s planning team sent 34 letters to residents in the area to consult on the application.

In summer 2012, the building’s owners, Bolton Methodist Circuit, sold it for £500,000 to be run as a wedding venue by four directors — Amjad Kulasi, Aysha Bapu, Amna Pervez and Aadil Razzaq.

The applicant and agent, Mr A Kulasi and RA Design and Project Management, Chorley New Road, say the building is not financially viable due to structural defects and the need for substantial, costly repairs.

They consulted the London-based Theatres Trust on the application, which raised no objection.

Mr Kulasi said more than 100 people living in the area signed a petition in support of the application. Some residents living in the area have welcomed plans for the six semi-detatched and three town houses as it would relieve traffic and parking problems at the venu.

Paul Cohen, chairman of Bolton Amateur Theatre Societies, said: “We are pleased because at least it means it’s a chance to air our views on the process and come up with a structured response.”