PLANS are in the pipeline to extend Waringstown Presbyterian Church and provide a community facility that can act as a heartbeat for the village.
Outline planning permission has been granted for alterations and extensions to the existing church buildings on the Mill Hill.
The redevelopment of the site would see a new church complex with improved indoor and outdoor spaces as well as a new manse and landscaped areas for community use.
Planning permission has also been granted for a housing development on the Banbridge Road on land owned by Waringstown Presbyterian Church. Proposals for the land would see the erection of 52 dwellings.
The ‘MAIL’ has seen draft sketches for both applications and the ambitious plans look set to transform the village should they reach fruition.
The improved recreation and sporting facilities associated with the church extension would be of benefit to young people in the area, particularly at a time when Waringstown is making the wrong sort of headlines for antisocial behaviour.
Rev Philip Thompson commented: “As a congregation we were delighted and excited to hear of the decision of Craigavon Borough Council to grant the relevant planning approval that will enable us to move towards a project of redevelopment on our current church site.
“Getting the necessary approval was a long and complex process. Throughout we received great support from Craigavon Borough Council, and were heartened by the many letters submitted in support of our application.
“We hope to repay that trust shown by the local community by providing facilities that will have real community benefit.
“Now the hard work begins. Early in the new year our Congregational Committee, the body tasked with overseeing any future development, will begin a process of consulting with our own members and the people of the local community about the shape of future development. We want to utilise the site to its full potential for the glory of God.”