Anger over unauthorised work at Grade II listed former Burnley church

LISTED: Burnley Lane Baptist Church.'Photo Ben Parsons
LISTED: Burnley Lane Baptist Church.'Photo Ben Parsons

THE owner of a former Burnley Church, which is a Grade Two-listed building, could be forced to return it to its original state by town planners.

Planning permission was granted to turn Burnley Lane Baptist Church, in Colne Road, into an e-warehouse for an internet shopping business in 2010 but Burnley Borough Council has said some of the building work carried out has not been authorised.

The e-warehouse use has not been taken up and the applicant, Mr Alyas Khan, of Emica Consultants Ltd, has submitted a new application to turn the building into a cash and carry but bosses at Burnley Borough Council’s planning department have recommended the plans be refused.

Building work already carried out at the site includes the unauthorised removal of the horseshoe gallery, columns, pews, wooden panelling, stairs, flooring and organ loft to the chapel, demolition of wall to the rear yard, the installation of roller shutters and the removal of a stained glass window and frame. The council said the unauthorised works are subject to a separate enforcement investigation.

Conservation groups Burnley Civic Trust and Burnley Historical Society have objected to the plans although many residents in the area have written in support of the application.

The matter was due to be discussed at a meeting of the council’s Development Control Committee last night.