New plans for Weymouth church that burned down 17 years ago

New plans for Weymouth church that burned down 17 years ago

Published by George Sharpe at 7:26am 18th November 2019. (Updated at 7:27am 18th November 2019)

MAIDEN STREET Methodist Church in Weymouth, destroyed by fire in 2002, is to rise from the ashes.

A scheme to convert the building to 25 one-bed homes with the renovation of the adjoining minister’s house has been approved.

Local councillors have welcomed the decision to bring the derelict town centre site back into use after two previous schemes failed to get off the ground.

“It has taken seventeen years to get here. Thankfully something is being done. This is a good scheme,” said Cllr Louie O’Leary, who proposed it be approved.

Cllr Kate Wheller, who had watched the fire, said she was delighted that something was being done with the site. She asked if the existing rose window could be replaced but was told by agent Rob Gardner that the cost was just prohibitive, although the developers will put in a new rose window, made of stainless steel.

Alan Wolsey drawings of Maiden Street Methodist Church (2)
Alan Wolsey, local stonemason, drew up measurements to repair the original rose window of Maiden Street Methodist Church 

The building has been owned by Cranbourne (Weymouth) Ltd for the past four years and have spent months in negotiations about the design – including a consultation with neighbours.

“The vast majority of people who attended we supportive and wanted something done.

“This is an opportunity to kick start the next chapter for this site and it will rejuvenate the area,” said Mr Gardner at Thursday’s Dorset Council area planning committee.

The plan for the Grade 2 listed building will include 18 one-bed flats, 3 bedsits, four maisonettes on the top floor with balconies overlooking Helen Lane and the renovation of the adjoining three-bed minister’s house.

The façade of the church will remain and a new zinc roof providing a feature for the new building which will be put upside on the footprint of the church. The ground floor will have a residents’ gym and cycle store.

It is expected there may be some road closures around the site when work gets underway.

The church was designed in 1865 in the “Lombardic Romanesque” style.

By Trevor Bevins, Local Democracy Reporter