Former Coach Nightclub in Banbridge to be turned into place of worship

Plans are underway to transform what was one of Northern Ireland’s most popular nightclubs into a place of worship.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s planners have given the seal of approval to turn the former Co Down nightclub, The Coach, into a community building.

LLodged by agent DSD Architecture Ltd on behalf of applicant Grace Generation Church, the application relates to the premises at 17-19 Church Square in Banbridge.

As part of the transformation, the premises will include a ground floor community hall, Bean There coffee house, Storehouse food bank and a mult-purpose room and meeting area on the first floor.

The former Coach nightclub in Banbridge.

Under the leadership of Pastors Paul and Helen Cupples, Grace Generation Church which is this year marking its tenth anniversary, has grown and developed into an effective ministry hub within Banbridge, according to its website.

A report from the council’s planners assessing the application notes no objections to the application had been lodged and outlines the reason for its approval.

“The internal layout and configuration makes use of the existing spaces and is designed to be sensitive to the existing buildings surrounding the site, ensuring there is adequate separation to protect existing amenity,” reads the report.

“Officers, in consultation with the environmental health department, are content that the proposal will not give rise to any significant detrimental impact on amenity.”

The report also claims the proposal is “in keeping with the size and character of the settlement and its surroundings” and officers consider it to be “in keeping with the character of the surrounding settlement and sensitive to the character of the surrounding settlement in terms of design, scale and use of materials”

Bringing the report to a conclusion, it states officers are of the opinion the “proposed development is acceptable in principle”.

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The Coach goes on sale

The Coach was once one of Northern Ireland’s most prominent night clubs but closed in November 2020.