The proposal was to convert a vacant industrial unit and office space at the Westhoughton Industrial Estate off James Street, which was submitted in a planning application to Bolton Council.
In a statement, planning officers from the authority said there had not been enough information provided from the applicant and the development could result in job losses at the estate.
The report said: "The proposed use is defined as a 'town centre use' by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the application site is in an out-of-centre location. The NPPF advises that local planning authorities should adopt a sequential approach to development for town centre uses under which they should require applications for main town centre uses to be located in town centres."
It added: "It is considered that the proposal is in conflict with established development plan and national policies, and this would cause harm through an unjustified loss of suitable employment space."