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Demolition fears for one of Hove’s landmark churches

News that a listed church on Blatchington Road has been approved for closure has led heritage campaigners to redouble calls for Chichester Diocese to explore new uses for the building and abandon plans to knock it down.

The recent decision to make Holy Trinity, Hove redundant comes in response to falling congregation numbers and mounting repair costs. Designed by local architect James Woodman in 1863, the Grade II-listed church is notable for its bold red-and-black brickwork, fine stained glass and outdoor pulpit. Government guidance states that listed buildings should only be demolished after all other options have been considered; yet plans to sell Holy Trinity for redevelopment were under discussion by the beginning of last year. Now campaigners fear that closure will give the diocese the green light to pursue plans to raze this nationally significant building to the ground.

‘Holy Trinity is a striking and attractive building in a quintessentially Victorian style with some unusual features,' said David Garrard, Historic Churches Adviser for the Victorian Society. ‘It is a local landmark and the focal point of the Cliftonville conservation area. Many people value it for the sense of gravity and continuity it brings to its surroundings. It is also part our national heritage.'

He continued: ‘Demolition should not be an option for Holy Trinity at this stage. Instead we want to see Chichester Diocese come forward with suggestions for the building's reuse. This is what government guidance requires and it is the only way to ensure that Hove is not short-changed.'

Monday 16 June, 2008

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