PROPOSALS for two new homes on the site of a former religious meeting hall have divided local opinion in a city suburb.

The redevelopment is proposed on land adjacent to the derelict remains of a Brethren’s Meeting Room on Newton Lane by housebuilders Charles Church North West.

The single-storey building is at the rear of properties fronting Kingsway, Newton Lane, Norfolk Road and Lime Wood Close, according to a report.

It is reached from Lime Wood Close, a modern estate of 28 properties.

The homebuilders say they intend to demolished the hall and erect a pair of two storey detached properties which will closely match those on Lime Wood Close.

Planning officers at Chester City Council have had five representations, two objecting to the new build and three in favour.

Objectors argue the dwellings will not be in keeping with the character of bungalows on nearby Sussex Road and will restrict light and outlook and compromise privacy for properties on Lime Wood Close.

The developers, who have been using the building as a site office, say it was vacant before they bought it although there are no details as to when it was last used as a meeting room.

The building has been disused for at least six years, suggest planning officers and there would appear to be little possibility of it reopening.

There is no shortage of similar meeting halls in the area, they point out.

It is argued the land has an untidy appearance and could present a security risk for surrounding properties.

The new properties will tie in with the modern housing scheme at Lime Wood Close, councillors are due to hear.

They will have a traditional design and will improve the character and quality of the area by removing the derelict, nondescript and out of keeping meeting hall.

The application, which is recommended for approval, is due to be considered at a meeting of Chester's planning board taking place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the city centre on Wednesday (January 28) at 10.30am.