Councillors approve plans to knock down former Chesterfield church for housing
A former church in Chesterfield is to be demolished to make way for new homes.
St Patrick’s Church at High Street, New Whittington, will be knocked down under plans led by Wilcockson Construction Ltd.
Nine three-bedroom houses and parking spaces will then be created at the site, which has lain derelict for a number of years.
Wilcockson Construction Ltd’s planning application was given conditional permission when borough councillors meet in Chesterfield this week.
A statement on behalf of the company said: “Falling congregation numbers and a need to rationalise the property portfolio of the Hallam Diocese of Sheffield was the primary reason for mothballing the site.
“The site’s previous use as a place of worship, church hall and an ancillary car park represented a community facility, although it had evidently become unsustainable and it closed approximately two years before the site was sold.
“The site was initially marketed in August 2019 for £275,000 without interest and was subsequently sold at auction in October 2019 for £250,000.”
The statement added: “The redevelopment of this site for housing represents sustainable development.
“Overall, the site will contribute towards the Government’s objective to boost significantly the delivery of housing.”
A council officer’s report on the proposals said: “The application site is in a sustainable location where new residential development is considered to be appropriate and will not adversely impact on the vitality and viability of the local centre.
“The loss of the church and hall, which has already ceased use and been marketed at a reasonable level, is considered to be acceptable in this case.”
During a public consultation, a resident complained about a loss of local parking as a result of the plans.
But according to the council officer’s report: “While concern has been raised regarding the loss of parking, this was taking place on private land through the gift of the landowner and the ability to park on part of the site has been removed.
“Therefore the loss of parking is not a matter that can be controlled through this application.”
It is not yet known when the demolition and building work will take place.
The church building was constructed in around 1986.