New church and homes plan issued

Hesketh Bank Methodist Chapel, Chapel Road, Hesketh Bank

Hesketh Bank Methodist Chapel, Chapel Road, Hesketh Bank

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Plans to overhaul an historic church site have been launched.

Leaders of the Hesketh Bank Methodist Church in Chapel Road, Hesketh Bank, want to demolish the 83-year-old building which has been derelict for over eight years.

Since 2006 church services have been held in the church hall to the rear, but is also no longer suitable.

Although plans still need to be passed by West Lancashire Council and the Charities Commission, Rev Kevin Jones is hopeful they will help “relaunch” the church.

He said: “In the past the church has been a real hub for the community. As well as services it has held many Young Farmer’s meetings, ballet classes, nursery groups, our own youth groups, and one of our members even received an MBE there. But in the last three or four years we’ve not been able to serve the community they way we did in the past and many groups have gone elsewhere.

“I suppose we’re looking for a relaunch. Without doing this, the church would be in difficulty.”

If passed, the Regenda Group will build 14 ‘affordable’ homes for renting in a mix of terraced and semi-detached styles, with two parking spaces for each property.

Out of the profits, Regenda have agreed to build a combined church and church hall and associated parking with separate entrances.

Rev Jones added: “We’ve been planning this for over seven years but there have been set-backs. Now we think the plans are right, with the houses for local families.

“We hope that the planning permission can be signed off by March, and Regenda want to start building before the new financial year.”