Row over Elim church plan rumbling on

Watson Street, Portadown. Picture by Google.
Watson Street, Portadown. Picture by Google.

Further objections have been raised to a proposal to demolish an old factory and build a new church.

Turkington Holdings has lodged an objection to the plans put forward by Portadown Elim Pentecostal Church.

The church want to demolish the old Wades factory at Watson Street but met opposition initially from Portadown First Presbyterian Church.

Further objections have now been received from Edenderry Community Development Association and Turkington Holdings.

The Planning department has also received a petition of support (445 individually signed identical letters) and individual letters of support from Rathfriland, Lurgan, Markethill and Richhill Elim Churches.

A petition of objection was received from Edenderry Community Development Association with 37 signatures.

A third letter of objection was received from Clyde Shanks on behalf of Turkington Holdings.

According to minutes before the Council’s Planning and Regulatory Services Committee the letters of support can be summarised as follows: the new church facility will help alleviate the anti-social activity taking place at the site; it is a welcome investment to Portadown town centre and Edenderry Area and will help the area visually.”

It was also pointed out: “The Edenderry Community Association is situated at Bridge Street, Portadown, and signatures among those are residents at Watson Street and Joseph Street area.”

The objection was summarised as: “The proposed size of church facility will create traffic and parking problems and impact the setting of the listed First Presbyterian Church.”

Objections from Turkington Holdings were technical in nature relating to a Transport Assessment being required for the ‘Development Opportunity Site’ and the ‘creation of a ransom strip, thwarting planned development’ and other traffic issues.

Planners recommended approval of the scheme.

The plan proposes the demolition of the former industrial premises and erection of a new Church with associated facilities. Facilities proposed include crèches, kids rooms, multi-purpose halls, meeting rooms and offices, car parking (with 244 spaces) and associated site works.

The Elim Church in Portadown first brought forward proposals in 2016, with amended proposals submitted in December 2017.

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