Historic Presbyterian chapel set for demolition
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Demolition work on Ystalyfera’s Jerusalem Chapel, which dates back to the 1880s, could be due to start on February 14.
An application to demolish the historic building due to hazardous structural damage on the roof was considered in December.
Neath Port Talbot Council (NPTC) decided that prior notification would be required ahead of any proposed demolition.
Plaid Cymru councillor for Ystalyfera at NPTC Cllr Alun Llewelyn said he would like to see the space where the chapel currently stands utilised as a green space if it were to go.
He said: “The Presbyterian Church of Wales, who own the chapel decided that demolition is the only safe option.
“Some historic items have been preserved from the building and I have contacted the church authorities to ask if they would consider the possibility, if the chapel has to come down, of an open space which could be enjoyed by the community and would commemorate the history of Jerusalem Chapel.”
A statement in support of the pre-demolition application says that a dangerous structures notice was served by the council after a structural collapse of two roof trusses in August 2021.
It adds: “Progressive movement has occurred since resulting in the property now deemed dangerous by a consulting engineer acting for the church.
“There is a real possibility that the roof structure could collapse especially with the onset of winter weather.
“All protection has been taken to ensure safety of adjacent buildings and members of the public with scaffolding, secure fencing and signage.”
A decision was made to close the chapel in 2021 due to falling numbers and an aging congregation.
This was further influenced by the deterioration of the building and a lack of funds to repair it.
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