A FORMER horticulture building in Thelwall could be turned into a temporary home for Bridgewater Gymnastics Club (BGC).

The planning application submitted to Warrington Borough Council relates to a building on the site of Caddicks Clematis Nursery, which would be used as a gymnasium for a three-year period.

As part of the plans, BGC stated that it was at a 'critical point' and if planning permission was not secured, its future 'looks bleak'.

Formed in 2009, BGC has held sessions in a variety of locations - including Lymm Youth Club, Stockton Heath Scout Hut and Lymm Leisure Centre - but is now in need of a new home.

Proposals suggest that the Caddicks building - found after an extensive search for potential new locations - could be rented off the owner until BGC can move to a new location at Broomfields Leisure Centre.

The application reads: "The applicant has approached both Thelwall and Grappenhall Parish Council and Lymm Parish Council to make them aware of the situation and to see if they had any suggestions of suitable premises.

"The club then, by chance, came across a building situated in Thelwall at Caddicks Nursery.

"This building is in the perfect location for their catchment area, it is the perfect size and the perfect layout.

"It is currently unused and it has an electric and water supply.

"This building would not only allow the club to continue running but would allow BGC to flourish and build upon the good work they have already undertaken.

"It would also be a possibility for other clubs to have a base here during this period.

"The use would be for a temporary three-year period, with the aim that this would allow the club to continue and eventually move into a new home at Broomfield’s Leisure Centre in the longer term once the redevelopment of this site is complete."

Plans state that the building would be used on one evening mid-week and on Saturdays between 9am and 2pm.

"The proposal will therefore not result in an intensive use of the site and vehicular traffic generated by the use can be easily accommodated on the site," the application continues.

The applicant also stressed that as the proposed site is located in the Green Belt, it is 'important to justify any development requiring planning permission which might be deemed inappropriate from a planning policy perspective'.

Plans read: "Clearly, justification of the building on a permanent basis is going to be a very difficult argument to articulate, given that the use does not require a Green Belt location.

"Therefore, having regard to the local planning authority’s desire to see the building removed from the site in the long term, it is proposed to seek a temporary planning permission for a three-year period.

"This proposal therefore represents very much a last resort option, and the BGC would not have chosen this site ordinarily, having regard to the planning issues it poses.

"However the club is now at a critical point in its existence and if a temporary planning permission cannot be secured on this site, then the future for the club looks bleak as it simply cannot continue to exist without a temporary home."

The Caddicks Nursery site has a long planning history, including proposed leisure facilities in 2007 which were withdrawn, and a proposed visitor centre and car park in 2008 which was refused and an appeal dismissed.

Applications in 2013 and 2014 for the continued use of a cabin building as residential accommodation for a temporary period were refused, as were proposals to turn an agricultural building into a dwelling in 2014.

Plans submitted in 2018 for use of the land to park cars was also refused.

Meanwhile, a part-retrospective application for development associated with horticultural use in 2011 was approved.

The current application can be read on the Warrington Borough Council website by searching for 2021/38537.