Decision due on Johnshaven church

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Councillors will next week decide if a 155 years-old local church should be turned into flats.

The plans, if approved, would see Johnshaven church change from a Class 10 non-residential institution into four residential flats.

The application, lodged with Aberdeenshire Council earlier this year, has be recommended for refusal when it goes before the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee next Tuesday.

The church was put up for sale in July 2015 for £75,000 when the congregation shrunk to a handful of members. If approved the current members of the congregation will relocate to St Cyrus.

The design statement for the application states: “To create two bespoke three-bedroom, a two bedroom and a single bedroom dwelling on the site of a disused church.”

The building is owned by the Church of Scotland with the sale subject to planning approval being granted. According to the report on Aberdeenshire Council website the “application is being referred to area committee because Cllrs George Carr, Jean Dick and William Howatson have requested that the application be referred to the Committee.”

Benholm & Johnshaven Community Council as a statutory consultee lodged its objection to the application back in February.

The letter from Mr Chris Greene on behalf of the community council said: “The basis of our objection is the requirement for at least seven additional on-street parking spaces.

“The roads around the old church are at times already heavily congested with residents parking; the addition of another seven cars would exacerbate the situation with potential to cause animosity between neighbours.”