A FORMER church in Orford is set to be converted into flats.

The building which was most recently used as the Oasis Centre, on Forster Street, will be turned into five one-bedroom apartments and three houses in multiple occupation under an application for planning permission submitted to Warrington Borough Council.

In total, the three HMOs would contain 14 bedrooms.

Previously known as the Gospel Hall, the church dates back to 1898.

The Oasis Centre moved to the former St Mark's Church on Longshaw Street in Dallam in late 2019, and the premises has been vacant since.

Submission documents stated: "An outreach church, working actively in local communities, the Oasis Centre found in recent years that its location was not ideally suited to its work – having to travel to other areas of Warrington where its support is in greater demand.

"This – coupled with urban church's congregation, which has increased in size – gave need to a larger church to accommodate this growing congregation.

"It has moved to another church building and is funding the refurbishment with the sale of the Gospel Hall.

"Attempts have been made by the church to ascertain if there was interest from another church in acquiring the building through its network, but there was none.

"The building has not been used, other than to store equipment, since they moved out in September 2019.

"Based on the location – a primarily residential area – and the size and form of the building, it is unlikely that any other commercial use would be suited to the building.

"The more the building remains unused in the long term, the more it can fall into disrepair – which can increase the risk of vandalism and crime."