Planners back church plans for former Telford car dealership
A former car dealership could be converted into a church and community hall, if plans are approved.
All Nations Church services will be held at the former Shukers Garage in Ketley, under the change-of-use proposal.
The area's parish council has objected, expressing concern that a 150-strong expected congregation will overload the site’s 53 parking spaces.
But Telford and Wrekin planning officers say they are satisfied worshippers will share vehicles, and a neighbouring business owner has said he does not mind his car park being used as overflow.
In a report due to go before the planning committee next week, officers say the All Nations Church plan to hold services from 6am on weekday mornings, with “approximately five/six attendees” and 11am to 12.30pm on Sundays, when they expect expect more than 100.
“It is noted that the applicant has also confirmed that the church will be open for midnight mass on Christmas Eve and Easter,” they add.
The community hall will be in use six-days-a-week, with a maximum of 50 people on-site.
Ketley Parish Council has objected, pointing out that the building, which is constructed in brick, clad and metal, is not soundproofed.
“The building does not have any soundproofing and any music played would be clearly audible and noise from people coming and going would cause a disturbance,” the report adds, summarising their point.
The parish council also say the parking and existing roads are “inadequate” to accommodate the expected congregation.
However, John Graham, the owner of Trio Furnishings, opposite the planned church site, sent a message of support to the planning department.
“My reason for writing is to advise you that the Ketley Parish Council has approached me with concerns the proposed application would affect my business,” he wrote.
“But in reality I have no issue with my car park being used as an over-spill for a few hours on a Sunday.
“I believe having more people to the site will have the potential to create yet more customers to Trio furnishings, Farmfoods and Just for Pets.
“I believe that any opportunity to create new or business and job opportunities to the area must be welcomed.”
The Telford and Wrekin planning committee will discuss the change-of-use application when it meets on Wednesday, January 30. Officers recommend they approve the plans.
All Nations Church is based in Wolverhampton and led by Steve Uppal who founded the body in 2001.
Report by Alex Moore
Local Democracy Reporter