PLANS to convert a former church building into apartments have been left up in the air after concerns were raised over highways safety.

As such, the application to transform the former Weaverham Methodist Church on Forest Street into four apartments has been withdrawn.

The worrying observations were made by Paul Parry, of the council’s highways department, who said that he could not support the proposals as they stand.

These include cars parked in the eight on-site spaces having to reverse out onto Forest Street with limited visibility and an already significant number of cars regularly parked along the road.

READ>> Former church built in 19th century could become apartments

The Grade II-listed building was built in 1878, was deconsecrated in 2009 and has been without a use ever since.

Applicant Evolution Childcare, which already runs a children’s nursery in a building located on site, was hoping to bring the historic building back into use for residential purposes.

In his consultee comment, Mr Parry said: “In principle, the conversion of this building and its resultant traffic generation would not be considered to give rise to a significant detrimental impact on the highway network in overall operational terms.

“I do have highway safety concerns in regards of the layout of the parking area proposed and would not support the proposal as it stands.

“The car park layout will result in reversing manoeuvres out of parking spaces onto Forest Street that would give rise to highway safety concerns.

Northwich Guardian:

Ground floor plans

“Although Forest Street is a one-way road and subject to a 20mph speed limit, it does not have a footway along the site frontage and, as such, the visibility for drivers reversing out of the spaces will be limited and compromised by other cars parked adjacent within the site.

“The forward visibility for approaching drivers will be similarly compromised given the lack of splays that there would be a line of cars parked within the site.

“The safety issue is further exacerbated by the parking area being directly opposite the cul-de-sac of Fern Way and there is also a significant number of cars regularly parked along Forest Street in the vicinity of the site.

“Both of these factors add further potential conflicts to the operation of the highway.”

Northwich Guardian:

First floor plans

This is in support of a comment submitted by a nearby resident in Forest Street who raised concerns over the impact that the conversion would have on traffic, which they say is already an issue.

They said: “I would like to point out that parking on the road is already very limited, and the extra car traffic will add to more car traffic.

“The speed limit is supposed to be 20 miles per hour, but quite a lot of cars and vans often exceed this on a regular basis as there is no deterrent.

“Could you not put traffic calming humps in the road to slow the traffic as there is a primary school at the top of the road?”