Amended plans to convert Hoylake Presbyterian Church into housing have been submitted to Wirral Council.
Last year, the planning committee gave the go-ahead to convert the historic structure and the land around it on Alderley Road into 18 flats.
Winter Melia Developments has now revised the scheme, and wants to reduce the number of apartments to 11 and convert the former church hall into four two-bedroom houses, rather than knocking it down. As with the previous plan, the constraints of the site means there will be no dedicated car parking for residents.
The church was built in the early 1900’s, but closed in 2014 and was sold at auction not long afterwards.
Originally it was proposed that it be completely demolished to make way for six new-build town houses, but the scheme was turned down following strong objections from locals.
The developer argues it should be exempt from earmarking any of the units as affordable housing as “it would adversely affect the already precarious viability and seriously threaten the prospects for the implementation of the development”.
The application states that the one bedroom flats will be sold for around £117,000, “which provides a relatively affordable price achievable for many of those who are in housing need”.
They add that the proposed conversion is “a reflection of the preference of the Council and local community” and caution that the nature of the “unique development may be either an attraction or deterrent to buyers and therefore represents a significant risk to the investment”.
Preparatory work has already begun, with hoardings placed around the site and a skip in the grounds filled with interior fixtures and fittings stripped from inside the church.
So far, four objections to the plans have been lodged, including three from neighbouring properties on Alderley Road.