Loftus Methodist Church

UPDATE, THIS APPLICATION HAS BEEN WITHDRAWN HOWEVER A RESUBMISSION MAY STILL BE MADE


Application to clear the site of Arlington Road primitive methodist chapel in Redcar and Cleveland:

https://planning.redcar-cleveland.gov.uk/Planning/Display?applicationNumber=R%2F2021%2F0939%2FF3

A classic Wesleyan Church in ceremonial North Yorkshire is to be dropped to make way for housing, following an application made by the Council, to the Council.

Loftus is an (almost) coastal market town in Cleveland, and is a hidden gem of heritage.

This building represents the end of the high street and offers a landmark building to round-off the coherent street frontage of the town. Its loss will have a major impact on the townscape.

The church is in the conservation area and contributes immensely to it. The heritage statement argues that because the church is not mentioned directy, it is ‘of little heritage significance’. However the very purpose of a conservation area is a blanket protection, without the need to reference individual buildings, which are usually too numerous to detail but contribute to a heritage townscape.

The usual rhetoric of the building becoming an ‘eyesore’ and a ‘public health and safety concern’ is also present. The statement even argues that the flattened empty plot and close board hoardings would ensure ‘the appearance of the conservation area would be enhanced’

The church (highlighted in red) forms an important part of the historic high street of Loftus (map circa 1900)

This is a good example of the democratic planning process being flouted. How can the Council determine an application submitted by The Council dispassionately? Is there any value in objecting when this is clearly a decision that was made behind closed doors a long time ago?

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