PLANS to demolish the former Hoyland Methodist Church have been submitted to the council after the congregation were forced to join with the nearby Birdwell group due to dwindling numbers.
The church, on Market Street, has been vacant for a number of years following the re-organisation of the local Methodist church community.
The building had been used by small community groups who had contributed financially to help keep the site afloat.
However this has been deemed no longer financially viable and plans to demolish the building and replace it with seven new properties have been submitted to the council’s planning board.
A report states: “Due to the local authority making their own facilities in the area available without charge, these groups no longer used the church facilities.
“As part of a general review of the Methodist church facilities it was decided, by church leaders, that the Market Street building should close.
“The remaining congregation have merged with the nearby church in Birdwell that has been renamed ‘Birdwell and Hoyland Methodist Church’ .
“The building itself, while structurally safe, is deteriorating and in need of repair.
“Dampness in the walls at lower level is evident in the older sections of the property.
“Roof leaks are also showing on some upper floor ceilings.”
If the plans are deemed acceptable by the council, then two detached houses, a pair of semi-detached properties and one block of town houses will be built on the site.
The report added that the proposals will have no significant impact on the local community.
“The demolition of the existing building and introduction of the proposed new dwellings will significantly improve both the outlook and overshadowing to properties to the north of the site,” the report said.
“The proposed traditionally constructed dwellings are in keeping with the general style of properties on new developments throughout the borough.
“The development is within an existing settlement, close to existing amenities and public transport links.
“Because the scheme is small in scale it will not impact on the community infrastructure, services or facilities.”
The closure of the site, and proposed demolishing of the building, comes after a number of Methodist churches across the borough.
A series of recent closures began in 2010 with Thurnscoe and has picked up pace more recently, with Cudworth closing its doors preceded by those at Pogmoor and Darfield’s Valley Methodist Church.
The most frequently cited reason is also the most predictable ageing, dwindling congregations and changing dynamics in residential areas once populated by local mining families but now typically as likely to house young adults who travel for work, the non-religious or those who spend their weekends elsewhere.
A total of 30 neighbours have been made aware of the plans to demolish the building with no appeals to date.
Public consultation ends on June 23.