Former St Pauls building Rochdale Road, Shaw – proposed car park and part demolition of existing listed building

Shaw Ward councillors were informed by Oldham Council Planning Department of a listed building consent/planning application for the former St Paul’s Church Rochdale Road, Shaw on Monday 1st August 2022 details as below:

FUL/349488/22 and LBC/349489/22 (identical application required for Listed Building Consent).

Examination of the online plans show further reduction of the existing partially demolished walls on the collapsed section and a proposal to build a 12-space car park within the footprint of the previously collapsed section.

Access would be gained from the current car parking area adjacent.

Several problems exist with this application.

The previously approved listed building planning application to reduce the building’s footprint to window cill height has been breached despite intervention by Planning Enforcement Officers at the request of ward councillors prior to this demolition taking place, the following day in fact.  If this breach had not taken place, vehicular access would not be able to be gained to the proposed parking lot area.

The footprint of the proposed car park is a burial ground with approximately 400 graves lying in the footprint (information from Methodist Association). 

The planning application does not indicate any proposals as to the developer’s intentions with regards to these graves.

Having taken legal advice, it appears that to allow the car park element of this application to take place would be a breach of the Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884.

Even more importantly it is also offensive to the residents of Shaw and Crompton who undoubtably will have relatives buried within this consecrated ground to see it tarmacked over and cars parked on it. 

This application is currently being reviewed by Oldham Council’s Planning Department, Liberal Democrat Ward councillors Howard Sykes and Chris Gloster will object to this application.  Councillor Hazel Gloster who sits on the Planning Committee will not comment in order to allow her to make representations and vote on the application at a future Planning and Committee. 

We are awaiting planning officers to initially review the application which is identified currently as an officer delegated decision and will request that the application is upped to full planning committee should it become necessary if permission is not going to be refused.

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