A former Cononley Methodist church could be replaced by four houses.

Cononley Church Developments Ltd, a Keighley-based company, is seeking planning permission to demolish the Church Centre on Main Street and build four-bedroom homes in its place.

The plans, which have been submitted to Craven District Council, include the provision of eight car parking spaces.

In the application, architect John Wharton writes: “The church does not lend itself to an economic conversion and a more efficient use of land is to redevelop.”

Built in 1952, the centre closed in 2008 because Cononley United Church could not afford to run both the former Methodist church and the Anglican St John’s Church, on Netherghyll Lane. “For many years we used both buildings,” said the Rev John Peet, vicar of Cononley United Church.

“But we couldn’t afford both, so we decided it was best to keep St John’s and sell the church centre.”

The decision followed years of debate. At one point, the Methodist Circuit offered to lease the building to the parish council for community activities, but the idea was subsquently rejected because of a lack of local support and the costs involved.

Mr Peet added: “Unfortunately the centre is going to be demolished. We’re sorry it’s going because it was a good building and was well used.

“It was a good place for meetings and youth activities.

“Hopefully the land will be used for good.”

He believes the centre, which had been on the market for some time, was sold at the “back end of last year”.