Multi-million pound Sheffield church development plans approved

Christ Church Fulwood.Christ Church Fulwood.
Christ Church Fulwood.
A £2 million plan to build a glazed walkway between a Sheffield church and its hall have been approved.

Leaders at Christ Church Fulwood said they were delighted with Sheffield Council's decision as the development would increase capacity and bring the facility from the 19th century into the 21st.

But the application prompted objections from those living near the Canterbury Avenue site, who claimed it was "unnecessary" as it was only a short distance between the church and the hall.

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Tim Cudmore, director of ministry at the church said: "We are delighted with the decision. We are now waiting on permission from the Diocese of Sheffield and once we have that we will go out to tender and start work as soon as we can.

"We're very happy with the decision - it's great news."

Mr Cudmore said the scheme would cost "in excess of £2 million", which was being entirely funded by the congregation.

He said: "The site is heavily used. The church hall is used every day but the main church stands empty for most of the week so we want to open it up to the community."

Mr Cudmore also said claims by residents that First World War graves would be "demolished" were not true and that only one will be moved within the church grounds, with the consent of relatives.

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"There will be no First World War graves bulldozed," he said. "We have worked hard following agreed processes and have contacted all of the next of kin and have permission from them and the Sheffield Diocese. We are not doing anything that create upset for the relatives."

But Paul Bradwell, who lives across from the church said he was "horrified" when he first saw the application.

He said: "They've obviously put some work into it but the walkway would carve straight through the graveyard, which contains First World War memorial stones.

"It's fairly unnecessary. By the time you cross between one and the other, you barely notice the weather."

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As well as the glazed walkway, the proposals also include a new paved courtyard and the siting of a marquee in the church car park for the duration of the construction of the project.

A design and access statement submitted with the application said proposals also included the demolition of part of the boundary wall on Canterbury Avenue and new entrance foyers to both the church and hall.

It said the current facilities at the church were "completely inadequate for the number of people using the site" and that the proposals were necessary so "that this growing and thriving church can continue to train leaders, serve the wider church and make a significant contribution to the surrounding community".