Council ignores church pleas over former Greggs plan in Warrington

Warrington Guardian: Clr Sheila Woodyatt Clr Sheila Woodyatt

MEMBERS of a town centre church lost their battle to stop an empty shop next door to their church potentially being turned into a betting shop or pay day loan business.

The congregation at Holy Trinity Church, on Sankey Street, had voiced their objections to a planning application which would see the former Greggs store have its use changed from retail to financial business or cafe.

But at a planning meeting on Wednesday they were there were insufficient grounds to refuse the plans.

Clr Sheila Woodyatt (CON - Lymm) said: “Sometimes I can’t find the planning reasons to refuse something that is being proposed.

“I have a great deal of sympathy with the congregation and sadly understand what is being said by the applicant that there are plenty of similar places.

“If there are plenty do we need any more?”

The applicant, Summit Leisure, had withdrawn initial plans for an adult gaming centre, but plans for financial or cafe use remained.

Minister Ken McDermott at Friar Green Independent Methodist Church said: “I’m pleased the gaming centre has been withdrawn, the remaining use for financial does open the door for bookmakers and pay day loan companies, both would be a threat to vulnerable people who come in to the church.

“We see many people who have fallen foul of pay day loans or are addicted to gambling at the foodbank and it would be unsuitable in that location.

“We do not object to a cafe though.”

While Alison Crane added: “Holy Trinity is a Grade II listed building. Do we really need a betting shop, pay day loan business or pawn shop next door?

“We already suffer from anti-social behaviour with people waiting outside the door.

“We try to encourage people to move on when they are on the steps of the church. A betting or pawn shop will cause even more problems.”

But Roger Etchells, speaking on behalf of Summit Leisure, said the core strategy had reduced the need to keep as much retail in the town centre with more mixed use premises in its plan.

He added: “People going to the church have to pass a whole range of uses in the town centre.

“It would also bring the building back into use adding to the vitality of the town centre.”

The plan was approved by the planning applications sub-committee despite Clr Woodyatt voting against the scheme.

Comments (12)

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10:33am Wed 11 Dec 13

itme says...

On the other hand , I wouldn't want my betting shop to be next door to an establishment frequented by people that believe in an imaginary being.
On the other hand , I wouldn't want my betting shop to be next door to an establishment frequented by people that believe in an imaginary being. itme

12:57pm Thu 12 Dec 13

tojahejome says...

Why on earth do the people from the church believe that they have rights over others. You are in the town centre for goodness sake so just be happy that the shop will be used rather than lying empty. Get over yourselves
Why on earth do the people from the church believe that they have rights over others. You are in the town centre for goodness sake so just be happy that the shop will be used rather than lying empty. Get over yourselves tojahejome

1:19pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Nick Tessla says...

If there is going to be a payday loan company anywhere in the town then perhaps the Church members should welcome it being in close proximity to their building as it increases their chance of reaching out to people with problems to offer support.
If there is going to be a payday loan company anywhere in the town then perhaps the Church members should welcome it being in close proximity to their building as it increases their chance of reaching out to people with problems to offer support. Nick Tessla

1:46pm Thu 12 Dec 13

richiepooh says...

The church objects to vulnerable peoples money going anywhere but to them, have you seen the Vatican with its artworks, gold, seriously Google pictures of the Vatican...and tell me they do a lot to help themselves or the poor? There's nothing wrong with believing in a God its the scum that run the church we need to abolish.
The church objects to vulnerable peoples money going anywhere but to them, have you seen the Vatican with its artworks, gold, seriously Google pictures of the Vatican...and tell me they do a lot to help themselves or the poor? There's nothing wrong with believing in a God its the scum that run the church we need to abolish. richiepooh

4:32pm Thu 12 Dec 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Why, oh why, didn't the Holy Trinity Church purchase the building and use it as part of their mission in the town center or perhaps a coalition of churches could have joined forces and make use of the said building. Must satan prevail in all things, surely not!
Why, oh why, didn't the Holy Trinity Church purchase the building and use it as part of their mission in the town center or perhaps a coalition of churches could have joined forces and make use of the said building. Must satan prevail in all things, surely not! SAC_in_Warrington

4:35pm Thu 12 Dec 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

itme wrote:
On the other hand , I wouldn't want my betting shop to be next door to an establishment frequented by people that believe in an imaginary being.
The people of "The Church", do not share your opinion of God, however they would respect your opinion.
[quote][p][bold]itme[/bold] wrote: On the other hand , I wouldn't want my betting shop to be next door to an establishment frequented by people that believe in an imaginary being.[/p][/quote]The people of "The Church", do not share your opinion of God, however they would respect your opinion. SAC_in_Warrington

4:51pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Nick Tessla says...

Certain Christian fundies must be gnashing their teeth at a woman, such as Councillor Woodyatt, being in any position of authority - is it a quotation from Timothy that gets trotted out?
Certain Christian fundies must be gnashing their teeth at a woman, such as Councillor Woodyatt, being in any position of authority - is it a quotation from Timothy that gets trotted out? Nick Tessla

5:20pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ninearches says...

A bit rich considering that some of the the Church of England's funds had been ,until recently at least, invested in a well known pay day loan company.
A bit rich considering that some of the the Church of England's funds had been ,until recently at least, invested in a well known pay day loan company. ninearches

7:38pm Fri 13 Dec 13

MAD 4 IT says...

THE CHURCH SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ALLEYWAY UNDER THE CHURCH THAT SMELLS AND HAS BEEN USED AS A TOILET FOR YEARS !
THE CHURCH SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ALLEYWAY UNDER THE CHURCH THAT SMELLS AND HAS BEEN USED AS A TOILET FOR YEARS ! MAD 4 IT

8:06pm Fri 13 Dec 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

MAD 4 IT wrote:
THE CHURCH SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ALLEYWAY UNDER THE CHURCH THAT SMELLS AND HAS BEEN USED AS A TOILET FOR YEARS !
They are concerned that it is used by incontinent Pub and Club users and a member of the Congregation can be regularly sanitizing the area for the benefit of the general public at their own cost.
[quote][p][bold]MAD 4 IT[/bold] wrote: THE CHURCH SHOULD BE MORE CONCERNED ABOUT THE ALLEYWAY UNDER THE CHURCH THAT SMELLS AND HAS BEEN USED AS A TOILET FOR YEARS ![/p][/quote]They are concerned that it is used by incontinent Pub and Club users and a member of the Congregation can be regularly sanitizing the area for the benefit of the general public at their own cost. SAC_in_Warrington

8:29pm Sun 15 Dec 13

old-codger says...

Alison Crane added:
“We already suffer from anti-social behaviour with people waiting outside the door. We try to encourage people to move on when they are on the steps of the church.

What happened to gods house is always open ??, But it is closed to those with nowhere to go, No wonder churches are only a quarter full or three quarters empty,
Alison Crane added: “We already suffer from anti-social behaviour with people waiting outside the door. We try to encourage people to move on when they are on the steps of the church. What happened to gods house is always open ??, But it is closed to those with nowhere to go, No wonder churches are only a quarter full or three quarters empty, old-codger

11:33am Mon 16 Dec 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

The Holy Trinity Church has had a long association with the poor and outcasts of the area and are very empathetic to their concerns and needs, but they no not shout about it from the rooftops. It is not practical for them I believe to remain open 24/7, however they do offer some limited community services in the week and people are encouraged to attend is they wish. In addition I believe that the Vicar is also a Local Borough Councillor.
The Holy Trinity Church has had a long association with the poor and outcasts of the area and are very empathetic to their concerns and needs, but they no not shout about it from the rooftops. It is not practical for them I believe to remain open 24/7, however they do offer some limited community services in the week and people are encouraged to attend is they wish. In addition I believe that the Vicar is also a Local Borough Councillor. SAC_in_Warrington

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