A CHURCH has unveiled ambitious expansion plans.
St John the Baptist Church in Kirkheaton has asked Kirklees Council for permission to build a £1.1m extension.
The Rev Richard Steel hopes planners will agree to the two-storey north aisle building at Church Lane.
He said: “We’ve got plans to reorder the inside of the church, removing the pews and levelling the floor, to provide a better and more flexible space for worship and community events.
“We want a multi-purpose building that all sorts of community groups can use.”
The Rev Steel added that the church’s historic look would remain.
He said: “We’ve been in long discussions with English Heritage to find the best way forward. From the outside the church will look like it has another aisle.”
The church also plans to expand parking at the site from eight spaces to 25.
The church handed in its planning request to Kirklees Council on September 2.
St John’s already has planning permission to demolish the church hall across the road to make way for six new houses.
The Rev Steel said the Victorian building – which was once a school – was no longer suitable.
He said: “It’s a very old building which hasn’t had any money spent on it.
“The building has huge stairs with no disabled access. The kitchens and toilets need work and bits keep falling off the roof.
“It’s a very costly building to maintain and refurbishing it would have cost more than £1m, which is far too expensive.”
St John’s is now concentrating on raising money for the church expansion.
The Rev Steel said: “It’s going to cost £1.1m. Some of that will come from the sale of the church hall, some from grants and the rest from the congregation.”