New chapter for Blackpool church set for demolition

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Plans to demolish a derelict Blackpool church and replace it with new homes have been given the go ahead.

The scheme will see the Waterloo Road Methodist Church on Waterloo Road in South Shore bulldozed to make way for a three storey block of 12 flats.

Waterloo Road Methodist Church

Waterloo Road Methodist Church

Blackpool Council's planning committee approved the outline application despite objections from nine residents who said the scheme was overbearing and would overlook their homes.

Ann Harbinson of Arnott Road told councillors despite the empty church attracting anti-social behaviour in recent times, she feared redeveloping the site would be worse.

She said: "For 15 years I have had the church to look out on and for the last three years it has been a bit of a mess.

"We have had alcoholics and vandalism and we have called the police many times.

An image of the flats proposed for the site

An image of the flats proposed for the site

"But my privacy will go as that whole block of flats will be looking down on mine and my neighbours' houses."

However planning officers said the distance between the proposed development and existing homes did meet the council's requirements.

A report to the committee said: "The church has been vacant for some time and is stated to be in some disrepair.

"There have been instances of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage, including the stripping of lead and copper.

"There has been no interest in the site from other local community groups. On this basis, the loss of the existing facility is considered to be acceptable in principle."

The report added the scheme would deliver "new residential accommodation of a good standard in a suitable and sustainable location" helping to meet the town's housing needs.

The development will comprise of nine two-bedroom flats and three with one bedroom, along with parking for 13 cars and access from Arnott Avenue.