Another planning application I’ve been intending to mention is the one for Groves Chapel, at the end of Clarence Street. I would have mentioned it earlier but appear to have missed the fact that it was validated in mid December.
The application reference number is 15/02833/FULM. There’s an accompanying application too, 15/02834/LBC, as it’s a listed building. Details of that on this link.
Photos of the interior show the state it’s in. The gallery area is dusty and unused, the ground floor has a strange metal box inserted into it, the paintwork is peeling and bits of it seem to contain small piles of rubble. The building will need major investment.
I went to the consultation event the developers held, back in October. Conversations with them and the information on the displays gave me a generally positive feeling about the proposals.
The gallery part of the chapel would be preserved. No public access to it, but then there hasn’t been any public access to it for decades.
If we want to support the continuation and maintenance of a fine old chapel, and public use of it, how about the Centenary Methodist Church on St Saviourgate, which is still in use, still has its fine old organ, and still has lovely old curved seating too, without debris all over it. More on that story later.
More concerning to me, just now, is how this planning application seems to have slipped under the radar. I’ve been looking out for it, as an interested resident, and generally look every Friday at the ‘weekly list’ option, to see what’s been validated (ie put online for comment) that week. I don’t remember seeing this one, would have mentioned it earlier if I did. If someone as ‘engaged’ as I am didn’t find it then I imagine many readers won’t be aware of it. And any planning application at this time of the year (it was apparently submitted in mid December) tends to get less attention. This year more than most, because of the floods.
An email included in the documents on that link above also raises concerns over the deadline for comment. The response states that the consultation deadline will not be at least until 25 January 2016 (document on this link (PDF)). So if you want to comment – object, support, or make a general comment, there’s still plenty of time to do so.
A church group has held a meeting recently about this planning application, and had apparently put in an offer for the building. I don’t have any more information on that, apart from what was reported in the Press. According to that, many residents are against the plans put forward in the planning application to have a Sainsbury’s store in the ground floor of the building.
I have to say that I know many other residents in the area don’t object to that at all, and seem in favour of it.
This building was a place of worship once, but hasn’t been since the 1970s. As under the current planning application the remnants and reminders of that are to be preserved, then perhaps that’s the best plan for the future of this building?
I’ve written about it several times before. For more information, and photos both old and recent, see the related pages links below.