East Boldon’s former gothic church is set to become a fitness studio under new plans
A planning application for the Boldon United Reformed Church at 53 Front Street, East Boldon, in the Cleadon and East Boldon area, has been submitted to the planning department of South Tyneside Council.
According to planning documents submitted with the application, the building – built in the Victorian Gothic Revival style – dates back to around 1876 and underwent further extension in the 1970s, but is now vacant.
According to new plans, the church could be converted into a fitness studio which the candidates say would lend itself to the open layout of the building.
A design and access statement submitted to council confirms that no additional floor space or extensions will be created.
The applicants also stated that the new fitness studio “would provide level access, internal circulation and accommodation for users with disabilities”.
The design and access statement adds: ‘The site is ideally located on the main street of East Boldon, with the building accessible to both residents and those in the more remote surroundings. [and] the building is located on a public transport route.
“Although there is no existing parking on the site, the use of the existing church has not previously created traffic problems and there is more than adequate street parking and parking behind the public house and auction rooms to accommodate the newly proposed fitness center. ”
The suggested opening hours for the use of the fitness studio are 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12pm on Saturday.
The old church is within the East Boldon Conservation Area.
Previous council documents detail the building as being of coarse limestone with sandstone dressings, with an old red brick church hall dating from around 1863.
He lists the two as “neo-Gothic buildings typical of their era and, though modest, make bold contributions to the street scene worthy of their use and importance.”
The authors are less complimentary of the ‘square 1970s extension to the church’, however noting that it is ‘a poor addition in form, materials and location, with its elevations dull and empty.
A decision on the fitness studio development application will be made following a public consultation period.
For more information on the offer or to follow its progress, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search for reference: ST/0280/22/FUL