PLANS to transform Weymouth Family Church, so it can be greater used by the community, have taken a step forward.

Last Tuesday (September 3), Weymouth Town Council’s planning committee agreed to support plans for a new roof terrace.

At the meeting Cllr Jon Orrell said: “It’s good they’re making use of it.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Lucy Hamilton said: “We welcome this creative application.”

The plans will next go before Dorset Council at a future planning meeting.

Mick Richardson, Leader of Weymouth Family Church, said the result of the town council meeting was ‘very encouraging’.

He told the Echo: “We are hoping to maximise the space available to us both for our own use and for other community user groups. The plan is to build upstairs to create two rooms (which could be opened up into one large room when required), a small restroom with small kitchenette, leading through to an upstairs disabled-access toilet; and provide access onto our storage balcony (which is currently only accessible by ladder); and also to install a lift to enable disabled access.

“Downstairs we plan to extend and modernise the kitchen, and to remodel some hard-to-use spaces in order to create more storage space.

“These are ambitious plans and once planning permission is granted, we'll need to explore various funding streams, including the generous giving of the church congregation.”

According to Mr Richardson, the hall is currently used mid-week by a charity that works in Weymouth and Portland, meanwhile, other charities have approached the church to see if they too can use the building.

Mr Richardson added: “We would love to help them, but we need to extend the premises before this can happen. Also, we are gearing up to run our own youth club weekly (it has been fortnightly up till now) and having more space for our youth and children's work will make a huge difference. The upgraded kitchen will enable us to provide meals at some of our events, including the popular Alpha course (which we are starting this week, but food will be prepared elsewhere at the moment).

“As we said when we took possession of Bethany Hall, Weymouth Family Church is keen to see the building used by and for the community as well as by the church. These plans will make this aim even better.”