PLANS have been revealed to convert a village hall into a restaurant and demolish an adjacent church.

Retreat, which runs bar and grill restaurants in Heaton and Adlington, is planning to open at the Bromley Cross Village Hall.

If plans are approved by Bolton Council, the Birtenshaw Methodist Church, which closed earlier this year, would be torn down to allow a 47-space car park to be built in its place.

Retreat company director Richard Hibbert said: “We are hoping to replicate what we have got in Adlington and Bolton.

“We employ 35 people at each of those sites and I think there would be a similar number of jobs in Bromley Cross.

“The plans seem to have been quite well received so far and I hope it will be as well supported as we think it will be.

“I think it is something that will suit the people in the area.”

Mr Hibbert says that the restaurant, which would have the same menu as Retreat’s site in Chorley New Road, could be open by May and added that the demolition of the church would be necessary because of parking problems in the village.

He said: “It is a good site, although it does need a car park sorting out.

“I don’t know Bromley Cross that well, but from what I have heard and seen parking is a bit of a nightmare.

“We have gone for the biggest footprint we can to put a car park on the site, which will be where the church currently is.

“The village hall is a better unit for us to try and convert. The church is full of alcoves and would be quite difficult to build in.

“It is probably the nicer building of the two, but for operational reasons this is the way we have decided to go.”

The main church hall was built in 1875 and the village hall dates back to 1888.

The closure of both buildings, in Darwen Road, was announced last year and blamed on a dwindling congregation size and lack of people to carry out jobs at the site.