Town church sold for development

PUBLISHED: 13:00 28 November 2011

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FEARS are rising once again over the future of an historic landmark in Portishead.

Residents are concerned that more of the town’s heritage will be lost after news the United Reformed Church (URC) at the top of Cabstand is to be sold to a developer.

United Reformed Church South Western Synod Trust secretary, Raoul Hewitt, has confirmed a buyer had been found and the building has been sold subject to contract. Mr Hewitt however refused to disclose any details of the developer at this stage.

Residents say it is important to stop any demolition of the building and are calling for a sympathetic restoration.

Great-grandmother June Fowler of Springfield Road, who used to attend Sunday school in the church hall in the 1930s, said: “I hope residents will do all they can to stop the church being demolished and replaced with a block of flats, we have enough of those and it’s time to put a stop to it.”

Others say they don’t mind what happens to the inside as long as the exterior remains intact.

Mike Johnston, a member of the Gordano Society, said: “Over the years we have lost some fine buildings in Portishead like Capenor Court, Bruton Manor, the original rectory in Church Road South and the old St Peter’s School building.

“The URC church is in such a prominent place, it is important to the town that the exterior is retained and I hope it is sympathetically restored.”

A decision to sell the church site, which includes a hall in Woodhill Road and the stone lodge adjacent to the church, was made in the summer after the small congregation, which rarely exceeded 30, could no longer afford the maintenance and repairs to the 1880s building.

Mr Hewitt says details of the developer will be released one the sale is finalised.


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