Plans unveiled to transform empty Hartlepool church into new shop

Plans have been lodged to convert a former village church into a new shop.

By Nic Marko
Monday, 16th May 2022, 3:44 pm

Proposals have been submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council’s planning department to bring the vacant Greatham Independent Methodist Church back into use.

The application from Ian Kinnersley states the move would create two full-time and one part-time jobs at the store which would offer “retail of vintage and decorative antiques”.

The building has been “empty and unused for several years” and suffered from “a pigeon and vermin infestation” during this time, which has since been addressed by the current owner, according to planning documents.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The former Methodist Church, in Greatham, Hartlepool, could be transformed into a new shop. Picture by FRANK REID

A design and access statement, submitted in support of the application, outlines how the plans will improve the building “which would have limited other uses”.

It said: “It is considered that the proposed application will sympathetically bring the building back into use therefore improving and enhancing the visual aspect of the building and the surroundings.

“The proposed change of use is the most viable alternative for the building in order that it can be brought back into use and add to the village community as footfall will no doubt have a secondary spend input on other businesses.”

The proposals would “incorporate the building in its existing form” with no internal or external alterations needed.

Plans also note anticipated visitor numbers to the retail site would “not cause disruption” to properties in the area.

The two-storey building in the Greatham Conservation Area dates back to 1883.

But has stood empty for “at least four years” and been “unused for an unknown period before that”.

A decision is expected to be made on the proposals next month.