A planning proposal to turn a warehouse unit in St Ives into a church has been submitted to Huntingdonshire District Council.
The International Prayer Palace Church (IPPC) – a “full gospel, multi-cultural, inter-denominational family church” – hopes the site will become a permanent home for its 200-strong congregation, after renting spaces from its Huntingdon-based offices.
The plot, Unit A at The Lakes Business Park, is located three kilometres south of St Ives town centre and was chosen by the church because it is away from residential areas.
“Churches and places of worship can sometimes be perceived as ‘bad neighbours’ when close to or within densely populated residential areas,” planning agent acting for the church, John Dadge said.
“For these reasons those seeking to establish new dedicated church facilities have to look to more affordable locations and have to be creative in their selection of sites and property and how they are assessed.
“Essentially for self-funded churches with modest means, experiences suggest that employment areas are probably the only locations that are viable.”
The application also includes a 41-space car park, which the church hopes to use for members as well as its mini bus service.
Due to its location, few concerns have been raised about noise and the church’s opening hours will only be in the evenings and at weekends.
If the application is approved, the church also hopes to provide pastoral care, education, advice and help in developing life skills.
To view the application, or to have a say, log on to www.huntingdonshire.gov.uk.