Neighbours and councillors had objected to application on the grounds of parking and the design not fitting with the town’s character.
Designers Paul Butler Associates, acting on behalf of Library House Ltd, had hoped to turn the former library on High Street into 14 two-bed apartments.
The application was knocked back by Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee at a meeting on Tuesday (April 27).
Cllr Dawson said: “This is perhaps the most congested site there is in Frodsham.
“I believe the car parking provision to be grossly inadequate.
“When Frodsham Library was still in use they put up barriers on their car park because it was already overused.
“I want to see this building reused, but this isn’t good enough. This is going to cause demonstrable harm to the people who already live there, people who already have a car parking problem.”
Initially Paul Butler Associates had wanted to turn the library into 16 flats, but after consulting the public this was dropped to 14, with a parking space for each.
Planning agent Tom Flanagan said: “The scheme design has evolved following extensive discussions between the applicant, the council and the community over a period of nine months.
“It is an accessible location so no more than one car is needed for each property.
“There are significant heritage benefits too as it could secure the long term future of the library.”
There were no objections to renovating the building itself, which has stood since 1837.
But the design for the wooden-clad extension overhanging the car park had previously been described as looking ‘like a shed on stilts’.
At the meeting councillor Jill Houlbrook said it was more ‘like a multi-storey car park’.
Cllr Riley said: “Frodsham is a very old book against which some of the new and trendy thinking can be applied.
“Unfortunately we’ve many examples up and down our fabulous thoroughfare where planners in the past have tried to convince us that wooden clad buildings are the bees knees.
“I’m afraid there are some fairly low quality examples not a million miles away which can remind us this is not going to stand the test of time.”
Neighbours were also worried about the extension overshadowing homes on nearby Alexandra Mews.
The project plans did not include any affordable housing because it was not ‘financially viable’.
Councillor Robert Bisset put forward a motion to approve the application, which had been given the stamp of approval from council officers subject to conditions.
Robert Bisset said: “I just feel it’s going to be difficult to turn this down and say yes to other applications.
“It’s sustainable, it’s in an accessible location meaning there are lots of choices for commuters.”
His motion was voted down.
The town’s library moved to Frodsham Leisure Centre in 2013, but for now the future of the historic building it used to reside in remains uncertain.