The old Crookes Valley Methodist Church in Crookesmoor Road “is in imminent danger”, says Sheffield City Council. Although the listed building is in private hands, the council is preparing, if necessary, to carry out the repairs itself to halt the deterioration.
The council is worried not only about saving the prominent structure but also the effect on the neighbourhood. Officers at the planning meeting 29 June 2009 issued an urgent works notice, which would now allow the council to make the complex secure and watertight and to remove flytipping, unless the owners, Leeds-based Northern Eye, take swift action themselves, they have 28 days to act and appeal. The minimum cost is estimated at £100,000. The authority could then seek to recover “any reasonable costs”. At the same time the council is preparing to issue a compulsory purchase order for the building so it can then sell it to a third party “who are committed to repairing the building to the satisfaction of the council”.
Following the 28 days, Sheffield City Council will put the work out to tender, this could mean another winter where this grade 2 listed grand old lady is left to further ruin, there are reports from urban exploers you need only look at the damge by lack of security and the so called Sqauters caused, following there free party, at the time we said:
crookes-valley church Is now squatted, we have been in and seems a youth den for drinking etc, underclasrising do not agree with this and if what we hear from some of the parents of those involved is correct then we disagree even more. There are better places for people to use and get shelter from, this is not one at all, we will give them their due it was more clean than it has been, but to have events in the middle of a residential area such as this is a no go, plus there actions are just adding to everyday shit some of us get see more at derelictplaces.co.uk: and why we updated this page as the rumors have it that we are involved. No we are not and do not agree and would urge them to vacate, all they are doing is fucking up an already fucked up place and making our task of preservation more hard due to there crass actions. read Squatting: a basic Guide
urban and bucolic Exploration is a subject dedicated to the subversion of space via the exploration of local places in which capital is temporarily absent or in which capitalist functionality is suffocated by the presence of the marvellous. This was the intention for our own expeditions into these places and to publish photographs, it is also a catalist to get Sheffield City Council to act, this we have done, the owners Northern Eye turned up to the planning meeting 29 June 2009 and shed a few crocadile tears, dispite this we are still open to working with them to safe Crookes Valley Methodist Church it will be to at least Jan 2010 befor any work from Sheffield City Council will take place, this will only be to slow down the decay of this grand old lady, to issue compulsory purchase order order for the building so it can then sell it to a third party will take longer.
Sheffield City Council do fail to inform the people of Sheffield one truth, the fact in 2002 the issued a ntice to the then owners to re roof, and do works to bring it up to standerd, of course the rich Methodist was not going to spend such cash, they gave notice to community groups to vacate and by 2003 it was put up for sale, we was at the auction when English Land & Restorations of 398 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield bought the building, with a clear understand funds would be give to the re-roofing of the church, if they could fund the other works for its re-use into flats, once they had the buidling no such funds become available, due to this it was left empty but very secure.
In 2005 PJ Properties 194 Whitham Rd Sheffield, S10, 0114 266 7666 made an offer and it was sold to them,(so we understand see comments) it was then the building began to fall into its current state, and though it is alleged, we are told they let scrappers and others go in and remove parts of the grade 2 listed building, talking to locals it is said they watched as deliberate damge was done to the roof and other parts, as active sqauters we know this is often an act to one prevent the building being squatted, and to let the buidling fall into a dangerous state and ruin there is no doubt this is what has happen here in our minds at least and we can neither conferm this, in 2007 it was sold to Northern Eye.
At the full planning meeting 29 June 2009 there crass claim of Northern Eye to have spent upto 10 grand on securing the building is just rubbish, we have never broken into or had the need to break into the building, we have gone through open doors, and windows, our intent has allways been to take nothing but photographs leave nothing but footprints, it was us who talked with the so named squatters, but as said it was just a youth den for the school holidays of 2008, we knew some of them, we then talked with the parents and action was taken. We also raised serious concern at the rumour of its use for a free party (rave) one of them following on from an annual event Peace in the Park 2008 was the first year on the Ponderosa over the road from the church. The current state of this church is due the lack of proper security, we need only look towards Sheffield Crown Court, to see the impact of this.
Crookes Valley Methodist Church is a striking and imposing neo-gothic building 1.69 kilometres west-north-west of Sheffield’s city centre. Its location and photographs illustrating its current condition Crookes Valley Methodist Church, Crookesmoor Road was listed on 28th June 1973, at grade II, at which point the building was in good condition, given that it was then a functioning Methodist Church.
Crookes Valley Methodist Church, Crookesmoor Road is currently owned by a Northern Eye, of Silver Crest House, Wesley Road, Leeds, LS12 1UH. Ownership commenced in early 2007. It was previously owned by English Land & Restorations of 398 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield. The complex appeared at that time to be in reasonable condition externally, although there is evidence of break-ins and damage to windows and roofs.
Following several reports of break-ins, vandalism and the staging of a rave, officers from the City Council’s Dangerous Structures, Planning Enforcement, Urban Design & Conservation Team and the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service have visited the site on several occasions over the last year of 2008, to assess and monitor the condition of the building. Streetforce have also undertaken work to secure the boundary of the site.
The current owners, Northern Eye, have undertaken a limited amount of work infilling vulnerable window openings in block work and boarding over ground floor, and some first floor windows, they claim this work has cost 10 grand plus. However several holes in the roof remain and many upper floor windows remain unprotected, and no attempt has been made to address these problems
RECENT HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
The building was put up for auction on 18th February 2003, with a reserve price of £275,000. The building subsequently sold for £465,000, it has since changed hands; the details of this transaction are not known. On the 14th November 2003, permission was sought and on 23rd December 2004 approval was granted to convert the building to student accommodation, providing 79 bedrooms, grouped into flats, subject to the signing of a Section 106 Agreement. This agreement was signed and the approval came into force on 12 December 2006.
Previously, in July 2005, informal enquiries were made by a Scottish based company, Euroscope Developments Ltd., who expressed an interest in acquiring the building, and developing an alternative scheme for it, should it become available at an acceptable price. A recent approach to Euroscope Developments Ltd. suggests they may still be willing to take on the building. Separately, another informal enquiry was received, exploring the possibility of converting the church to a public house, along similar lines to the “Pitcher and Piano”, in the former listed Unitarian Church, on High Pavement, Nottingham. It is also understood that discussions have been held by the owners with an Islamic Organisation, with a view to converting the building to a Mosque.
On 16th November 2005, informing them of the Council’s concern at the condition of the building, and setting out the powers available to the Council, to secure the future of the building. No reply has been received to this letter, and the property was placed on the market with Mark Jenkinson and Sons, having been advertised in the Sheffield Telegraph on 25th November 2005. There is no report of the outcome of this auction, and it is considered that the property may have been withdrawn from sale. A report to seek authorisation under Delegated Powers was sought on 21 December 2005 to issue a Listed Building Urgent Works Notice, and to undertake preliminary work in relation to a Listed Building Repairs Notice.
Following the eventual sale of the building to the current owners, it was decided to suspend further pursuit of a Listed Building Urgent Works Notice, on the understanding that the existing permissions were to be imminently exercised.
A new set of applications (07/03584/FUL and 07/03583/LBC) have been submitted, and validated on 29 October 2007, for the conversion of the building to 58 no. student flats. These applications received Listed Building consent on 14 October 2008 and Planning Permission, following the signing of the Section 106 Agreement, on 14 January 2009. It is understood that the mortgage provider and lenders to Northern Eye are currently reviewing their property portfolio, and associated development options, including Northern Eye’s commitments at Crookes Valley Methodist Church.
CONDITION OF THE BUILDINGS
A detailed internal inspection of the building has not been made: however, during the site visit on 28th April 2008, it was noted that the building was in a poor and deteriorating condition, that there was the widespread evidence of dry rot, dead pigeons and droppings , ingress of rain, blocked gutters and downpipes, broken windows and doors, missing roof slates, cracked and fallen plaster work and evidence of repeated episodes of break ins and vandalism, due to the entirely inadequate security and maintenance being afforded the building at the time.
Subsequent external inspections have noted a continued deterioration of the building, and that entry has been forced into the building on several occasions, in several locations. On Thursday 19 June 2008, trespassers were reported in the building, and for people were subsequently moved on by the police. This matter was raised with the buildings owners, and the draft Urgent Works Notice was sent to the owners agents, together with a strongly worded letter, requiring that the building be made safe secure and weathertight as a matter of urgency. Further break ins, vandalism and deterioration have subsequently occurred, and although the owners have boarded a limited number of windows and restricted entry into the site and building, it is still deteriorating.
reports from 09 http://www.28dayslater.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=40111 http://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/main/showthread.php?t=3170 Past 2003 2008: http://underclassrising.net/reports/crooksmoor.html https://projectsheffield.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/crooksmoor-church-and-live-infultration-29-5-08/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/0742/sets/72157604770806592/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/0742/sets/72157603436125766/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/0742/sets/72157601970450917/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/0742/sets/72157601922838780/