Balby Road Methodist Church, Doncaster
Prior notification of demolition of an ornate Methodist Church in Doncaster:
Even as public life grinds to a halt, still the cultural crimes fester. This stunning chapel from 1863 has been given prior approval for demolition pending a bat survey, which means the applicant, Mr Surjit Duhre, will be seeing off this example of Victorian splendor imminently.
It is rare that the Primitive Methodists displayed such ostentation, so this building seems to have caught them in an uncharacteristically extravagant mood.
The applicant argues that there is minor spalling on the brickwork (as there is in every brick building of this age); the only remedy for which is complete demolition. If thats the case why did you apply for conversion to flats 3 years ago?
Extremely sad to see this building go, as it offers a notion of civic life along this high street otherwise dominated by residential uses. With so many new churches springing up in inner suburbs such as this, namely by immigrant pentecostal communities, it is such a shame that these new congregations can’t make use of the already existing religious buildings. This is both a planning failure, and a market failure to marry supply and demand.
Doncaster needs to retain as much cultural heritage as possible, so I’ll be pressing for a spot listing from Heritage England. Sad to see no media coverage of this in the local press. Let’s hope that changes soon.
What is wrong with Doncaster Council? Why can’t they preserve our heritage rather than destroy. This is a soft target for a developer to shove up el-cheapo flats. Doncaster Council just has it’s on eye on the council tax earnings from the flats – this money will be paid by UK Government as I bet al the occupants of the new flats will be described as “vulnerable” in “affordable housing”.
Absolutely – it’s just devastating. I came across this because my grandfather’s family were Primitive Methodists around here and probably used this church – one of them is celebrated on the ‘Doncaster at War’ website http://www.doncaster1914-18.org.uk/story/percy-parkin-pease-one-of-the-best/ but it seems heritage is just for putting online nowadays – actually preserving anything material comes very much second to making a fast buck.