Councillors in Arnold have started a petition to save a church building from demolition as they say it’s a ‘valuable community asset’.
The empty building on Killisick Road was once home to the Beacon Baptist Church but is now earmarked for demolition after plans were submitted this week for new housing on the site.
But now a campaign has been launched by Arnold North councillors Michael Payne and Pauline Allan in a bid to secure the building’s future and make it available for community use.
The councillors said: “The petition urges the Baptist Union Corporation to ensure Beacon Baptist Church in Killisick is retained for community use and not sold and demolished for the purpose of housing development.
“That the loss of such a valuable community asset to Killisick and Arnold risks exacerbating existing issues with poverty and deprivation and any proposals for additional housing would have an adverse impact on an area that is already incredibly densely populated”.
“We urge the Baptist Union Corporation to immediately withdraw plans to sell the Beacon Baptist Church in Killisick for housing development and instead to work with the local community and Gedling Borough Council to retain the site for community”
Coppice Ward Labour councillors Henry Wheeler and Marje Paling have also urged residents concerned about the future of the building and the site it stands on to sign the petition.
Residents have posted on the petition page calling for the church building to be saved.
Gemma Wood wrote: “The church has some good, and not so good memories for our family. It wouldn’t be the same with Beacon church. We do not need more housing; we need a youth centre for our children and youth groups like back in the day ran by the churches or council.”
Belinda Pickering commented: “I live in this area and there is hardly anything available for the community anymore.
“I have been to stay and play baby coffee mornings and lots of events here in the past and it is somewhere for people to meet and this will be so important when restrictions are lifted; we will need a sense of community.
“There are so many poorer families around here, please don’t keep taking these important resources away from us .”
The planning application has been submitted by Loughborough-based developer Direct Land Investments.
In the planning application document that can be seen on the Gedling Borough Council website, the developer states: “Following the closure of the church – following water damage, the property has been the subject of extensive marketing –for alternative community-based uses, and no interest has been shown in the continued community use of the premises.”
You can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/baptist-union-corporation-save-beacon-baptist-church-killisick-from-demolition-for-housing