Plans to build a multi-million pound church in Monifieth have been criticised by a community preservation group.
The Monifieth Local History Society said proposals for the new High Street kirk were not as popular with locals as originally described, ahead of a planned discussion between architects and the community.
Monifieth Parish Church wants to build a new place of worship on land currently occupied by the South Church Halls in the town’s centre.
Margaret Copland, president of the Monifieth Local History Society, said many residents were unsure about the necessity of the new church.
She said: “Discussions about constructing a new, purpose-built church on the High Street have been going on for a number of years, and have caused lots of upheaval.
“The Monifieth Local History Society felt it had to object, both the first time the plans were submitted to the council and now, as the building is of historic significance.
“The new church plans seating for 250, for a reputed congregation of 1200 members.
“Currently the services are held in Monifieth Parish Church, also known as St Rules, which appears to be more than adequate for requirements, with seating for the diminished numbers attending.
“Many members of the community have expressed their concerns as to why the project is being pushed on regardless of the fact there is a fit for purpose historic building available for worship.
“What is needed in Monifieth is a purpose-built community centre, with community management, for all denominations.”
Boys Brigade leader and Monifieth Parish Church elder Andrew McArtney said the youth organisation, who were once based out of the South Church Halls, were looking forward to the church being built.
He said: “We are 100% behind the church and the rebuild. It will give us some great facilities in the burgh centre that we can access.
“We have had an input as well as to our needs and wants to make sure that we would be catered for.
“The current halls are old, cold and devoid of any technology that we can and would use.”
The project is estimated to cost £2.25 million and will be funded via contributions from the Monifieth Parish reserves, the sale of the empty Panmure Church building and charitable donations.
Funds of £250,000 will need to be raised by the congregation and through donations to make up the shortfall – with a parish reserve of more than £1.6m already in place and the expected sale of the Panmure Church building hoped to fetch £120,000.
A meeting between the building’s architects Lee Boyd, Monifieth Parish Church and the community were held on Thursday evening at the Gerard Hall.