New Blackburn Parish Hall approved by planners

A VICTORIAN church in the city center must have a replacement parish hall.

Planners have approved a new two-story brick building to meet the needs of residents of new housing developments near St Luke’s Church in Bank Top, Blackburn.

It would replace an existing single-storey hall built in the early 1970s.

Blackburn and the Darwen City Council Planning Department allowed the project to go ahead subject to four conditions.

They require construction to begin within three years and the prior submission of samples of all exterior wall, roof and window materials and a landscaping plan.

The decision note, signed by Martin Kelly, its strategic director of the site, states, “The proposal is of appropriate design and appearance and would not be detrimental to traffic pleasure or road safety.

The Parish Council of Saint-Luc Church had applied for a building permit for the new building after rejecting the renovation of the existing one.

The new two-story building on the site of the existing church hall would provide office space for 12 to 16 people; space for four groups of young people; a kitchen capable of providing up to 200 meals, disabled access and accessible toilets.

It will also be used for Christian discussion groups and as a drop-in center for adolescents and those in need of temporary shelter.

A statement in support of the planners said: “The church is temporarily closed but generally holds community events and meetings both in the church and in the adjoining parish hall.

“Its spire can be seen for at least 3.4 miles as it approaches Blackburn and it serves as a landmark in the city.

“The parish hall is a single storey building attached to the church built in 1875 by a short connecting corridor.

“Blackburn with Darwen council has plans for the surrounding area, as part of the Griffin regeneration area.

“The location of the site opens up opportunities to serve growing residential areas in the south.

“The main use of the building will be as office space. In multifunctional spaces, it is proposed to organize small and medium-sized Christian discussion meetings, as well as family groups, for example parent and child groups. ”

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