Go ahead for flats at former church

Residents of Lune Grove who are protesting at plans to convert the Bethesda Church into flats.
Residents of Lune Grove who are protesting at plans to convert the Bethesda Church into flats.
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Controversial plans to convert a former church into flats have been given the go ahead.

Blackpool’s planning committee approved the scheme for the Bethesda Congregational Church despite objections from residents who warned it would create parking problems.

But fears had been raised the church, on the corner of Grasmere Road and Lune Grove, might fall into a state of disrepair.

The application by developer Keith Sodhi to use the building as nine flats was approved.

Afterwards residents said they were disappointed.

Karla Parsons, who lives next door to the church and says her property will be overlooked, said; “Everyone is disappointed and we’re all worried now what it’s going to be like.”

Meanwhile proposals to build eight houses on part of a health centre site were deferred by the committee.

NHS Property Services wants to build homes on land on Stony Hill Avenue which was formerly partially occupied by the South Shore Hospital.

The hospital has since been replaced by a Primary Care Centre.

Objections had been received from seven residents as well as Squires Gate ward councillors Doug Green and Christian Cox.

Gary Johnson, head of development management at Blackpool Council, said the committee had decided to defer a decision so a representative of the NHS could attend and answer questions.

Councillors were concerned the land might need to be reserved for future potential expansion of the PCT centre.

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