News

‘Grossly overstated’: 200-year-old church not as historic as council claim, say developers

20 Aug 2021 3 minutes Read
The final service at Golftyn Presbyterian Church took place in September 2019.

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

The historical significance of a 200-year-old church in Flintshire which could be turned into flats has been “grossly overstated”, a planning consultant has claimed.

An application was submitted in October last year to partially demolish Golftyn Presbyterian Church in Connah’s Quay and convert the remaining parts of the building into six flats.

It followed the church being closed in September 2019 due to dwindling congregation numbers after serving as a place of worship for more than 200 years.

Golftyn Presbyterian Chapel was built between 1804 and 1810 in the Sub-Classical style of the gable entry type.

Officials from Flintshire Council previously refused permission for the flats scheme because of concerns over the loss of historic features of the building.

M.A.D.E Developments, which is behind the proposals, has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to have the decision reversed.

It came after a consultant acting on the company’s behalf called the architectural merit of the building into question.

In an appeal statement, Huw Evans said: “The planning authority has grossly overstated the importance of the architectural and historical significance of the appeal site.

“The area does not have any distinctive character to which the site makes a material contribution.

“The building has no protected status either locally or nationally and the council has made no attempt give it any protection by seeking to include it on a list of locally important buildings.

“Consequently, there is no firm policy context for the council to require the building to be retained in its entirety but there is a strong policy context and adopted guidance for the reduced parking standards that the highway authority has accepted.”

Decision

Huw Evans added: “The planning authority has failed to recognise that the appellant has a strong fall-back position that the building could be demolished with no control by the authority other than ensuring that demolition would be carried out safely.

“It is requested that the appeal be allowed and planning permission granted.”

Golftyn Presbyterian Church. Planning Document image.

The firm previously said the proposals to demolish part of the front of the church were necessary to create room for parking spaces.

But the council’s conservation officer said the plans would result in the loss of “virtually all” of the historical features from the outside of the building and permission was denied.

A decision will be made on the appeal by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a later date.

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Dim problem
Dim problem
1 month ago

The greedy sods would say that, wouldn’t they? It’s likely that no-one tried to have it locally listed as a historic building because no-one thought it was under threat of demolition by developers. Worship there only ended in late 2019!

Cath
Cath
1 month ago
Reply to  Dim problem

True, but it must be remembered that developers are some of the scummiest scum that ever slimed across this cursed Earth and will use ANY opportunity to make a profit. Your whole comment is along the lines of why this particular developer has tried this nasty tactic on.
You will never meet a “property developers” grandparents because they will have been sold long ago.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Our heritage disregarded again for the opportunity to make money. Very sad!

Cath
Cath
1 month ago

Another reason why we need to have more devolved powers with a long term idea of full independence privy to the people in Cymru’s want….Until we are willing as a people to start standing up to this kind of flagrant disrespect for the heritage bequeathed to us we will forever see it tramples and torn apart by people whose true loyalties and riches lie with the same kind of vicious gangsters that are ruining and destroying the rest of the planet. The history of Wales is important and we need to be strengthening planning laws in favour of the biosphere… Read more »

kaiskama
kaiskama
1 month ago
Reply to  Cath

As is often the case, my internet search appears to indicate the so-called “developer” is not Welsh. Another bunch from the wrong side of the Dyke looking to despoil Welsh heritage to build yet more holiday homes !

Tracy Eynon
Tracy Eynon
1 month ago

These chapels were often paid for by the congregation, so in theory belong to the community! I would rather see it converted to social housing rather than being sold off , but even that is better than it being left to become an eyesore or burnt down

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Tracy Eynon

Just goes to show that organised religions are really business who are only interested in making a quick buck. It might be worth asking what the Presbyterian church who owned the chapel did with the money.

They could have donated the building to the community to use as e.g. a community hub or something similar but instead they saw an opportunity to make a quick profit by selling off the family silver. The Anglican church have been doing it for years.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
1 month ago

Is the Huw Evans you quoted the same Huw Evans who was FCC’s planning lead and devised most of their conservation policies? Just a simple and innocent question 🤔

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

They would build inside your grans grave if they could, the bloody ghouls.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

In Finland (yes, that place again) there is a body named Museo Virasto, which you must apply to, even though you want to do small changes, chop trees etc. Wales needs its own equivalent, say; Heritage Office? Their word should be final.

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

That sounds like an excellent idea. The Fins seem to do most things very well. Another good example is Israel where it is illegal to demolish places of worship.

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