by Tom Martin (August 2022)

A DERELICT former church in Waterloo, which has been blighted by vandals and fly-tipping since it closed 15 years ago, could be turned into apartments.

A planning application has been put forward by developer Tonik Rok Ltd to transform the empty St John’s Church, on Brighton Road, into ten apartments.

The Grade II listed building, which was built in 1865 and owned by the Diocese of Liverpool, last hosted a service in 2007.

The Champion has published several stories over the years about fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour at the site, with nearby residents complaining it was a blight on their neighbourhood.

A planning application submitted to Sefton Council states: “The proposals forming this application have been well designed, taking into account future residents in the area, the site is well located to utilize an extensive range of nearby amenities and modes of public transport, as such the site is sustainably located.”

The Champion reported in 2016 how a similar plan was approved by the council to turn the building into flats, but building work never began.

As part of this fresh proposal, a Heritage Assessment report was carried out by Heritage Consultant Garry Miller.

In his report, he states: “The proposal will put the listed building to an alternative, sustainable use and thereby secure its future.

“Its appearance will be enhanced as a result of refurbishment works.

“The interior, will, inevitably, experience change as a result of the scheme. However, in the overall context of the listed building, this change is considered to be less than substantial harm.”

Sefton Council is yet to make a decision on the proposal.

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