McCheyne Memorial Church – an update

Over the past few years, on behalf of residents, I have raised concerns about the condition of the former McCheyne Memorial Church on Perth Road – both relative to the grounds and to the building itself.I recently asked the City Council’s Director of City Development for an update about the church and have been advised:

With regard to Planning, the owners of the property previously advised that the Vestry within the Church, which was previously in residential use, was being painted and that they intended to stay there when they visited the area.  I am not aware of any other works within the building that would require an application for change of use.
In terms of public safety, in 2011 the owner was contacted following complaints of delaminating masonry.  The owner advised that an inspection would be undertaken and any further loose material would be removed.  A visual inspection of the property undertaken on 16 April 2014 identified no public safety issues.  However, there are a couple of small panes of glass that are broken on the east elevation and I will write to the owners to request they cover up the holes. I do not consider they have any significant impact on the building being wind and water tight. 
In response, I have asked that Dundee City Council ascertain from the owner that he does intend to make proper use of the building – or what his current intentions are.
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The future of the former McCheyne Memorial Church

Further to my article last month about the falling masonry concern at the former McCheyne Memorial Church at the Perth Road/Shepherd’s Loan junction, I have been in contact with council planning officers regarding this.   

There has been a degree of activity at the church by representatives of the owner (who is London-based) and the City Council’s Conservation Officer has updated me as follows:

“Having visited the site and met with the owner, I can advise that the current works relate to repairs as a result of a burst water mains within the vestry.
The repairs include replastering a number of walls, repairs to ceilings (reinstating the cornicing), painting of timber work and redecorating.  I also viewed the church hall and main body of the church, which are currently used for storage.
The owner indicated it was his long term intention to convert (with the appropriate consents and permissions) the whole building to a single house, to be used as a holiday home for the owner’s family.”

The church has lain empty for over a decade and local residents regularly comment to me that it would be good to see the church building brought back into an appropriate use.   

McCheyne Memorial Church – falling masonry concern

Residents have contacted me following masonry dropping from the steeple area of the former McCheyne Memorial Church building and landing on the area to the front of the church – see right.

This occurred on Thursday during the very windy period and residents are concerned that other masonry may be loose.

I have contacted City Council Buildings Safety and Planning Enforcement staff regarding this, asking that the owners are contacted and that appropriate safety action is taken.

Tidy up at former McCheyne Church on Perth Road

Almost exactly a year ago, I reported the tidy up of the grounds of the former McCheyne Church on Perth Road at the top of Shepherd’s Loan.

Over the past year, the grounds have become overgrown again (and rather badly at the front) and I have been in touch with the City Council’s Planning Enforcement Officer about this.   Following her contacting the owners, the grounds are now looking a lot better – see right.

Thought for the day :  In the ten years I have been on the City Council, residents have time and time again expressed their concern at the superb McCheyne Church building lying empty.   A sympathetic use really must be found for this imposing and historic church.

Former McCheyne Church grounds – tidied up

Over the past few months and following residents’ complaints, I have again raised with the City Council the state of the grounds of the former McCheyne Church on Perth Road at Sinderins.

The City Council, after writing to the owners without any action on their part, recently served an Amenity Notice on the owners and this has now resulted in the area being tidied.

The Council’s Planning Enforcement Officer wrote to me towards the end of last week as follows :

“I visited the above site today and all the weeds have been cut back. There are a few cuttings remaining but there was a bag on the railings that looks like it has been left to collect the cuttings. Perhaps they didn’t finish because of the rain. However, I would advise that I consider they have complied with the Amenity Notice and I will close this case.”

The grounds are certainly looking a lot better :

BEFORE :

AFTER :

 

Development Quality Committee

Tonight’s Development Quality Committee at the City Council was a brief meeting – and the item on agreeing to direct action to tidy up the grounds of the St Peter McCheyne Memorial Church (on the agenda following my request for enforcement action as a result of residents’ requests to have the grounds tidied up) – did not have to be dealt with because the owner had the grounds tidied in the past few days. See my earlier item at : http://tiny.cc/mccheynetidied.

I am most grateful to the City Council’s Planning Enforcement Officer, whose efforts has resulted in a tidied area around the former church – but wouldn’t it be great to see the church brought back into use?