Dundee City Council is set to consider a planning application to demolish Craigiebank Church, which is said to have become a significant burden to local church-goers.
The Church of Scotland building and church halls in Craigie would be demolished to clear the site for potential redevelopment in the future.
Statements in support of the application say the building is no longer financially viable to maintain, adding that the building was now a ‘serious burden’ to the congregation.
Planning proposals originally approved some years ago have now lapsed, and fresh permission is now being sought to clear the site.
The General Trustees, the property holding arm of the Church of Scotland, have written in support of the application.
“The building has suffered from deterioration over a number of years due to serious water ingress resulting in major damp and rot issues,” a representative of the group said in support of the application.
They added that each congregation is responsible for the upkeep of its buildings, something they say has proved “beyond the capabilities of the Kirk Session both in financial and personnel terms”.
It adds: “Other areas which require attention and which would be prohibitively expensive include major repairs to the tower.
“In effect, the building in general is beyond economic repair despite the best efforts of the congregation and is now a serious burden for them to deal with.”
Built in the 1930s, Craigiebank sits on the junction of Greendykes Road and Craigie Drive, east of the city centre.
The B-listed building consists of the church cruciform and an adjoining church hall – both of which would be demolished.
The General Trustees also told councillors that Craigiebank was one of a number of buildings in its estate which “fell considerably short of an identified standard in virtually every area”.
They added: “The building is essentially not fit for purpose and it would be economically unworkable to try and make it so.”
Whilst the sanctuary has been unused, a number of community groups are still understood to use the church hall.
We reported in 2019 how elderly parishners feared they may be left with no place to worship if the plans were approved.
But the Church insisted that under its presbytery plan Craigiebank would not be used for worship after the current congregation is linked with nearby worshipers.
Kath Mands, Craigiebanks session clerk, said local community groups had been using the church hall during the coronavirus lockdown.
She added: “It was not within our means to rectify a planning fault over eighty years ago.
“We have recognized that for a long number of years that there was no option but to demolish and that we needed support to do this. However, it was not in our vision that we could be left with no place to worship in the Parish.”
‘High calibre developers’
A report by a charted architect on behalf of the Church of Scotland said there was “no option” but to clear the site.
The report added: “It is very much hoped that this application can be supported and that given its location, setting and neighbourhood that this attractive and prominent site can at a future date attract high calibre developers to propose a new meaningful future to this setting.”
Councillors have yet to make a decision on the application.