Work starts on unused church

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    Unused Church in Kirkdale. Pic © Shaun Driscoll JMU Journalism

Construction is underway to demolish an unused church in Kirkdale with plans to build 15 new homes.

Liverpool City Council approved the planning for the new houses in October 2018 and now the work has started to pull down the landmark so the developers can get to work.

The former Westminster United Reformed Church in Orwell Road has been unused for a number of years and sustained severe fire damage in December 2016.

There have been a number of attempts to redevelop the site, but all have failed to this point. Everton in the Community created a mural in 2017 of former goalkeeper Neville Southall but that faced a backlash from the residents and it was swiftly repainted.

Kirkdale councillor Joseph Hanson told JMU Journalism: “They are in process of knocking down the church and they want to get on site as soon as possible. The building has been an eyesore for a number of years with many complaints of rat infestation, anti-social behaviour and rough sleepers.”

YouTube: Sean Driscoll

The Church has been a staple in Kirkdale’s history and has been around for more than 50 years.

Labour Cllr Hanson added: “It’s sad to see a building with its history and its connections to the area being pulled down, however, it had been badly vandalised and has suffered serious fire damage. For many years developers had shied away from doing anything, so to see the building replaced by social housing will bring benefits to the area.”

However, Cllr Hanson admitted that some residents remain sceptical, with concerns raised through the planning process over extra traffic, the number of houses for the size of the development and the closeness of new homes to existing properties.