PLANS to demolish a derelict church, which has been branded “dangerous” by some residents, have been opposed by councillors.

Parkfields Baptist Church, on White Horse Avenue in Halstead, has fallen in to a state of disrepair, prompting developers to call for its demolition.

Developers are hoping to bulldoze the church in order to make way for four semi-detached homes.

The plans were first submitted back in July last year but have now been revised.

Halstead Town Council had opposed the application and recommended it for refusal by Braintree Council.

The town council objected on the grounds of “overdevelopment, and poor access from the properties to the street” as well as being too close to the junction.

But, after the plans were revised, the bid suffered another blow after town councillors opposed it again on the same grounds this week.

The plans have also split residents, with some agreeing with proposals to knock down the former church while others say the building could be restored and used for another purpose.

One resident said: “Currently the site is unsecured and has become a dangerous ‘playground’ for local children who are climbing on the building and have smashed windows.

“The surrounding wall has also been damaged from where it was hit by a vehicle.

“Developing the site would greatly improve the area by removing a building in a bad state of repair and providing housing.

“It will only be a matter of time before a child comes to harm here.”

But another resident said: “Rather than putting a lot of time, money and effort into demolishing this building, why not put it to good use?

“It could be a community hub that benefits the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of people.

“Create from what already is and make it a place where locals want to go.

“There is a growing population of fear-instilled, anxious, depressed and lonely people who need some positive encouragement, hope, stability and vision in their lives.

“Let’s aim towards community well-being projects and make use of what we have.”

Halstead Town Council voted against the plans at a virtual meeting on Monday.

Braintree Council will have the final say on the proposals.