Carnoustie’s Philip Hall is to be cleared to make way for flats.
Angus planners have given the go-ahead for the Dundee Street premises to be demolished.
And the Kirk says cash from the sale of the site will go towards redevelopment of Carnoustie Church opposite.
Why is the once busy hall being bulldozed?
Single-storey Philip Hall has been used by Carnoustie Church and local groups for generations.
But the early 19th century hall is not listed and doesn’t sit in a conservation area.
And it’s now in need of costly repair.
Carnoustie Church says it suffers from poor insulation and a lack of double glazing.
The external woodwork and harling are also showing signs of age.
“It is a financial drain on the church,” the church said in its planning bid.
“Prior to the pandemic the Philip Hall had been used primarily by the church alongside several community groups.
“That said, the hall was frequently vacant, thereby questioning its viability given it is an ongoing drain on resources in terms of its operation, care and maintenance.
“Since the onset of the pandemic the hall has not been available for outside use, other than elections.”
User groups have gone elsewhere and there are no plans to re-open the hall.
“Both the Philip Hall and the church have significant amounts of backlog maintenance.
“Neither building is fit for the requirements of the 21st century and neither is used as intensively as they might be.”
Carnoustie Church is C-listed.
The congregation say they are making “strenuous efforts” to keep it running and move ahead with the upgrade project.
Planning officials say yes
Angus planning officers issued a delegated approval for the demolition plan.
It’s likely the site will be cleared for flats.
But the latest application only approves development in principle so detailed plans for a future project would have to be lodged with the council.
They said: “The town is reasonably well served by existing community facilities and the loss of this particular facility, in circumstances where the adjacent church is being upgraded to provide similar facilities for the existing users, would not have an adverse impact on the community.
“Precise details regarding vehicular access, parking and turning arrangements would be considered as part of a future detailed planning application.
“But the council’s roads service has confirmed no objection in relation to the proposal based on road traffic and pedestrian safety grounds.”
Surplus to requirements
The Church of Scotland said: “An application for planning approval has been granted in principle on the basis that a developer may wish to purchase the Philip Hall, demolish it and replace it with residential flats.
“Any proposals would need to return to Angus Council for full planning permission.
“The hall has been deemed surplus to future requirements by Carnoustie Church.
“The congregation have plans to turn the Church into a multi-purpose space by removing pews and making other alterations.
“The Philip Hall has been closed to outside users for some time and it is hoped that the proceeds from the sale will provide substantial funds for the refurbishment project.”