A convent on the outskirts of Wigan could become a care village under revisions to how a holy order is run.
An extra building is set to be constructed at the Sisters of Notre Dame complex in Lancaster Lane, Parbold.
While the likes of Lancaster House and the old coach house would survive, other 1980s accommodation would disappear in favour of 56 newly-built flats.
Lancaster House itself would house six apartments and the coach house would contain nine, under proposals which have now been approved by West Lancs District Council’s planning committee, subject to a successful bat survey being carried out.
Architect John Bignell, outlining their intentions beforehand, said: “The order is reducing in numbers, so they are very aware that with the three convents they have, soon they’ll only really need two.
“So they were looking at ways of maintaining their philosophy and helping people, and this was one of the ways they could pursue that goal.
“The plans aren’t immediate, but by getting this planning application in, they are extending their philosophy.”
Council planning officers believed that the development would not have a detrimental impact on the Lancaster Lane Conservation Area, nor the grade II listed Our Lady and All Saints Church nearby.
But the bid did not find favour with all villagers, with Parbold Parish Council especially concerned regarding “inadequate” car parking and poor existing drainage locally.
Six letters were also sent to the borough council, by neighbours, outlining a series of other concerns.
Some were bothered about the prospect of the new flats overlooking their homes, while others were worried that development was “too large” for a village the size of Parbold, placing additional strain on GP services.
The care village, if it goes ahead, would offer a dining room, treatment rooms, hairdressing salon, rehabilitation gym, lounge, library, hobbies room and guest accommodation, with shared gardens and terraces, and support staff on hand around-the-
Lancaster House has been used by the Everton-based nuns since 1947. and is now a retirement home.