Yorkshire church to be given facelift to create homes for over-55s - featuring a roof terrace

St Andrews Church in LiversedgeSt Andrews Church in Liversedge
St Andrews Church in Liversedge
An ageing Yorkshire church is set to be given a facelist and bring new housing for over-55s in West Yorkshire.

The plans for St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Liversedge will see a four-storey building constructed on site incorporating a church, 22 one-bedroom apartments, community facilities and a roof garden.

The apartments would be affordable and available for older people with a connection to the church. Floors one to three would feature the housing provision, with the ground floor comprising a church, community space and cafe and the fourth floor, a roof terrace and conservatory.

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Kirklees Council’s heavy-woolen area planning sub-committee unanimously approved the application at their meeting. As part of the approval, the applicant is expected to provide a £31,500 contribution towards off-site public space as well as the affordable housing provision, age and faith restrictions, and hiring a management company for waste collection.

However, an objection was raised by Kirklees Council Highways due to the lack of car parking space on the site. Twenty six spaces are proposed in the plans but this is regarded to be an insufficient number when considering the site of the development with this significantly larger than the current building.

Church steward Caroline Holt spoke of the need for a community venue in the area and described the current site as “not fit for purpose.” She added: “It was designed to be 40 years in its building, it’s now over 55 years old and as you’ve seen this morning, it’s a prefab so the building has had its day. The church could not afford to just put a community space there and so the flats were the only way that we could be a self-sustainable project to work in partnership with the service in Kirklees.”

She also addressed concerns over the number of parking spaces. She said the site is used by numerous community groups with up to 100 attendees and was used for vaccination during the pandemic, receiving more than 15,000 people. In each of these cases, Ms Holt said no complaints had been received relating to parking with the majority of visitors said to arrive on foot or using public transport.

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She added cars would not be allowed for residents because two pool cars would be provided for them to use on top of transport links already in place.

Coun Jackie Ramsey said: “There are a lot of things I really like about this project. If parking is mitigated and genuinely the residents aren’t going to have parking spots and use pool cars then that’s really reassuring.”

Coun Steve Hall added: “I didn’t like the idea of the parking but it’s been slightly alleviated with what we’ve been presented with. One thing that I do think is a really great idea is one hundred percent affordable housing and it’s got to be said, community spaces in Spen Valley are very few and far between.” He added: “All in all I am in favour of this.”

Coun Andrew Pinnock expressed his ‘wholehearted’ support for the application and said the current buildings are “not really a good advert for what the church is trying to do.”