Church plan for boarded-up barn

Minister Mark Simpson a tNorthbrook Barn, Leyland, which is being converted to a church and community rooms
Minister Mark Simpson a tNorthbrook Barn, Leyland, which is being converted to a church and community rooms

Plans have been put forward to transform a derelict barn in Leyland into a new church with a cafe and a bed-sit flat.

In March, the Wellfield Church group reached an agreement with South Ribble Council, which owns Northbrook Barn in the Broadfield estate, to save the building from demolition and create a new community facility.

Now a formal planning application has been submitted to the council by Rev Mark Simpson to change the use of the building, which was previously used as offices.

The church group has been meeting at Wellfield Business and Enterprise College for the past five years.

There are around 20 to 30 members, and they want to use the premise as a meeting place on Sundays, and for midweek groups such as toddler groups and to offer a debt counselling service.

They would also like to open up the entrance area of the building in due course, as a small, part-time cafe for use by residents, and a staff worker will reside in the bed-sit to deter theft and vandalis.

Rev Simpson says they also hope to lease part of the building to small local businesses in order to help cover the costs of running the property.

The group has made an initial payment of £35,000 to the council, and it now needs to pay another £35,000 by November.