Sheffield church extension set for council approval

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Plans to modernise and improve Hillsborough Trinity Methodist Church with a new extension were set to be improved at a council meeting today.

Planning officers at Sheffield Council have recommended the application, to replace the existing off-shoot at the back of the church with a much larger development, is approved.

It is set to replace the current run-down toilets with a new toilet facility suitable for disabled people, along with more storage space, an office and a foyer area.

The Reverend Ian Lucraft, from the Middlewood Road church, said: “It is an active, local church which, as well as Sunday services, has Guides and Brownies, Boys’ Brigade, toddler group, Polly’s Pantry for older people and other church meetings.

“We only have two old toilet rooms and they’re not really fit for today’s usage, so we want to create a nice, modern set of toilets, a small office for the new minister, Katie Leoniwicz, and utility room space.

“These improvements will enable us to have much better facilities for the users and it will enable us to have disabled access from our car park space so we can get wheelchairs in and out easily.

“It’s a very functional improvement and it’s going to make the premises more up-to-date and more usable for the variety of people who already use it.”

He said members have been saving up for the extension for a long time.

The council received six letters from people objecting to the development, raising concerns such as a lack of consultation, the removal of a landscaped area, a lack of need for the extension, a negative impact on house prices and issues regarding the foundations and stability.

But the officers’ report to members of the council’s planning and highways committee said: “The mixture of traditional and contemporary elements of the proposed extension result in an attractive and bespoke extension which is clearly a modern addition, but also reflects the character of the existing church.

“Furthermore, given the single-storey nature of the extension and its subservient siting, it will not form an overly prominent or obtrusive feature in the street scene.”