Row over demolition of grade-II listed arson damaged church Kegel Kegel

Controversial plans to demolish a grade-II listed church which was damaged in an arson attack are set to be debated by councillors.

Wakefield Council has urged its planning committee to approve plans to knock down The Church of St Faith on the corner of Aberford Road.

But English Heritage, West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, Wakefield Civic Society and The Victorian Society have all objected to the proposals.

Their concerns have been backed by ward councillors Olivia Rowley and Ros Lund.

The application will go before the planning committee next Thursday.

A report states: “The Church of St Faiths was built as part of the West Riding Pauper Lunatic Asylum in 1861. It is likely that the building was built from copies of plans for the Church of St James, Doncaster, which was designed by George Gilbert Scott and Lord Grimethorpe.

“The church was closed in 1996 and in the intervening period the council considered a number of planning applications at the site as outlined in the planning history section of the report.

“In June 2012 the church experienced significant fire damage as the result of an arson attack.”

Owners Linfit Investments Ltd bought the church in 2007 for £285,000.

Reports commissioned by the company claim that the building suffered significant damage during the arson attack. They claim original features were destroyed and in its current state the church would not be grade listed.

Linfit claims it would not be financially viable to restore the church and wants to replace it with new housing.