THE conversion of a disused church in Johnstone with new homes will be a “benefit” to the town, according to a community leader. 

The Church of the Latter Day Saints at Park Road and Campbell Street could soon be the site of seven modern properties. 

If approved by Renfrewshire Council chiefs, the existing building, which fell out of use in 2008, would be replaced with six semi-detached and one detached home. 

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Documents supplied by Northern Partners say the decision has been taken to redevelop the site due to the “little demand” for a building like the existing structure. 

The current site also contains a spire, which would come down under the new-build home plan. 

Tom Wallace, chairman of the Johnstone Community Council, believes most people in Johnstone would be glad to see the site being used rather than going to waste.

Mr Wallace told The Gazette: “People would rather see new houses in the building than see it going into disrepair.

“It means we won’t have a building going to waste or getting vandalised, like we saw just last week with the old Johnstone police station.

“One thing which seems to be a concern is access to the property and that would have to be cleared up.”

However, Mr Wallace added that he had concerns about what the development could mean for the surrounding area and called for improvements to be made to the nearby tennis courts. 

A design statement notes: “The site appears to be a ‘natural’ windfall site for redevelopment to housing use, that will be compatible with its surroundings, utilise brownfield land, contribute to the local housing land supply with no demonstrate harm to interests of acknowledged planning importance. 

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“The scheme would potentially help support use of local bus services due to the proximity of a bus stop.” 

A decision is expected later this year. 

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