THE demolition of a 100-year-old church to make space for a new apartment block has outraged local residents.
The Bethel Baptist church on Clarence Road, Butetown, had served the community since 1912 but the planning committee for Cardiff Council has decided the space could be put to better use. The warehouse next-door to the church will also be demolished in order to provide five parking spaces for the new four-storey apartment block.
Members of the planning committee approved the demolition of the church and warehouse on Wednesday, amid concerns from residents the demolition process would be harmful to the community.
“I agree with them doing something with the building. It’s a nice thought, but not flats,” said Nicola Canning, 47, of Pomeroy Street. “When they were doing the Bay the mess was horrendous."
Despite 40 letters of objection and 200 residents signing a petition against the development, Coun Delme Greening was unable to persuade members of the planning committee to scrap their plans to knock down the church.
Joyce Martin, 57, a volunteer at the Salvation Army in Butetown, said: “It’s the impact on the area really, with parking and stuff.”
Russell Howells, 52, who has lived in neighbouring Grangetown for 17 years, said: “I think it’s disgraceful really. All they’re doing is knocking it down and putting up new flats with no character.”
Mr Howells pointed out the impact the demolition of historic buildings can have on a community. “The Red House pub was one of the oldest buildings in Cardiff. It was reprieved and they knocked it down,” he said.
The pub opened in 1871 and despite numerous appeals to save it, it closed in 2004 and was replaced by 27 flats and four town houses.
Mr Howells said: “The way they’re knocking everything down there’ll be no community left. You go to Bristol or Bath and they respect their heritage.”
On Wednesday, Cardiff Council’s Planning Committee approved the application by six votes to five.