PLANNING NEWS: OUR LADY OF GOOD HELP SITE
The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of Good Help, in Chesnut Grove, Wavertree (nowadays spelt Chestnut Grove) was opened in 1887 and closed down in 2011. The Catholics of Wavertree were previously catered for by St Oswald's in Old Swan, and nowadays the parish church is the Christ the King building on Queens Drive.
Since the church closed, people have been wondering what is to happen to the site, including the former Presbytery and the Parish Social Centre further along the road. None of the buildings is Listed, but the site lies within the Wavertree Village Conservation Area so planning permission will be needed for any demolition, redevelopment or change of use. Of particular historical interest is the former Presbytery, which was built by the short-lived Wavertree Baths Company as a private bathing establishment in 1867. For a while - until the Town Hall was opened in 1873 - the front part of the building housed the offices of the Wavertree Local Board of Health.
The whole site has been on the market for some time, and a planning application (ref. 17F/1105) has now been submitted to convert the Presbytery - and part of the adjacent Parish Centre - into a day nursery for 110 children (the capacity being estimated by the applicant as 20 babies, 60 toddlers and 30 pre-school places). Part of the Parish Centre building is to be demolished, to allow the creation of an outdoor play area for the children, and additional windows are to be inserted, at low level, within the west wall of the 'Baths' building.
While we have no objection in principle to the proposed conversion, we have expressed concern about the traffic implications in such a congested part of Wavertree village, and have requested more information about what the owners intend to do with the former Church building.