THE company behind controversial plans to build a block of flats behind the Odeon cinema is appealing Bradford Council's decision to refuse its planning application.

It will be arguing that a nightclub next to the site it wants to develop is operating illegally and should be served with an enforcement notice.

Castlebrook Properties applied to build a 16 storey building on Great Horton Road last year for the site of the former Castaways nightclub. Although it later amended its plans to reduce the building's size, it was still refused by planning officers in April.

The original plans would have provided accommodation for 268 students and created three ground floor shops and a cafe.

The company has now lodged a planning appeal with the Secretary of State to try and get the council's decision thrown out.

One of the reasons for the flats being refused was their closeness to the neighbouring Love Apple nightclub. Planners felt that anyone living in the accommodation would be affected by noise and disturbance from nightspot.

In its appeal the company says the club is: "not only creating a nuisance, but potentially operating unlawfully."

It goes on to call the club "a series of poorly constructed ramshackle outbuildings" play music too loudly.

Castlebrook also claims that the club, in Great Horton Road, has never been granted planning permission and that when developers had spoken to the local authority about it, it was "simply not interested in solving the problem."

The appeal document, put together by Riverside Design Studio Architects and available on the council's planning website, adds: "We are simply flabbergasted by the lack of progress and Environmental Health's unhelpful attitude."

The company goes further by saying the club has never been given planning permission, although it has a premise license, and is therefore unlawful. It claims to have asked the council to start enforcement action - but the local authority says it is not aware of such a request.

The scheme was also refused on the grounds that the building would be an "incongruous feature" in the conservation area that includes the Odeon and the Alhambra Theatre.

The appeal document says: "Just because a building is tall it does not necessarily follow that it will be harmful to neighbouring historical buildings. There appears to be no criticism of the award winning Beetham Tower in Manchester for being disproportionate in height in relation to adjacent buildings."

It adds: "The prominence of the existing domes of the 20th century Alhambra and Odeon should not limit potential for high rise development in the vicinity."

On the claims that Castlebrook have asked the council to take enforcement action, Ian Horsfall, Bradford Council Planning Manager, said: "We are not aware of any letter from the appellant asking for us to take action. However, we will look into this issue further."

The T&A was unable to contact the owners of Love Apple.