Chesterfield church's demolition plan for car park
Church-goers in Chesterfield are bidding to demolish an old presbytery – and replace it with a car park.
Members of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church want to expand the car park at their new Gospel hall on the corner of Littlemoor and Dukes Drive, Newbold.
The buiding was formerly St Hugh’s Catholic Church, but this closed in November 2017, following a reorganisation by the Diocese of Hallam.
The 1.4-acre site, which included the old presbytery, a large green area at the rear and a small car park at the front, was purchased by the Plymouth Brethren at auction in July 2018 for £655,000, with services starting in May 2019.
Adrian Rowles, a congregation member, said the church had outgrown its previous hall on Birkin Lane, Wingerworth.
Now members of the church, “a group of mainstream practising Christians from a worldwide fellowship”, are planning to refurbish the church building, as well demolish the presbytery.
The scheme would see about 20 spaces where the presbytery bungalow stands – with the green area converted into a further 74-space car park.
In its planning application to Chesterfield Borough Council, the church is also seeking permission to create a new entrance and new entrance canopy on the church building.
In the application, a church spokesman said “The congregation is made up of about 500 persons arriving in about 100 cars for a full service.
“This new hall with the additional car park, is seen to be sustainable for the foreseeable future.
“Littlemoor Road can get busy and it is seen in the interest of the congregation and the public that our members should be able to gain access to and from their vehicles in a safe environment without the need to go near a busy highway.
“We want to eliminate the need for parking on Littlemoor Road and Dukes Drive. Both roads were previously lined down either side during church services which caused disruption to traffic, which the new design is meant to avoid.”
Mr Rowles said: “We are a family church. The safety of our friends and family is paramount.”
He said the church also wanted to be “better neighbours”, by reducing the need for congregation members to park on nearby streets.