Feb 20 2012 by David Norbury, Chester Chronicle
PROPOSALS to replace a suburban youth club and crèche with a place of worship have led to objections from parish councillors.
The possibility has emerged at the Upton Youth Club on Wealstone Lane, Upton where the application has been put forward on behalf of Brethren in the area by Laurence Houghton.
Mr Houghton has told planning officers at Cheshire West and Chester Council the new single-storey building, which would accommodate congregations of up to 150, would replace the 50 year old youth club which is adjacent to Mill View Primary.
Services would take place on Sundays, Mondays and Fridays.
There would be a maximum of 30 visiting cars as many of the congregation would walk.
Mr Houghton says the Brethren congregation in Upton has been seeking a meeting place for 10 years and has considered 10 locations in the suburb, all of which have had to be discounted.
He accepts the site is not on the open market and would not become available until alternatives for the youth club and crèche have been found.
But he feels permission would allow him to make a bid if it came up for sale.
Upton by Chester and District Parish Council has raised traffic issues and believes 30 cars ‘seems unrealistic’.
Councillors do not believe the new build would be in keeping with the character of the area and feel the future of the site should be restricted to education or activities for young people.
The highway authority has not objected.
Subject to conditions, planners do not feel the development would be unacceptable as it would replace one community use with another.
It has been called in to a meeting of the borough’s planning committee at HQ in Chester at 4pm on Tuesday (February 21) by Upton councillor Jill Houlbrook (Con).
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