Disappointed residents have expressed their concern on an online forum after the historic Park Lodge building was bought by an external developer.
Churches Together – a group of 14 churches seeking to be a united voice in West Bridgford – failed to raise funds to buy the Grade II-listed building.
Instead it has been bought by Nottingham-based Paragon Development, which has submitted a planning application to add an entrance lobby extension to the West Bridgford building, which is situated off Central Avenue.
Christopher McDouall, of Churches Together, in West Bridgford, said: “I did try to get Churches Together to put up the money to use it as a sanctuary, offer courses and invite people in if they had a problem so we could offer help, but after much negotiation, we could not muster enough of either to make it a viable proposition.
“In the end we had to abandon the idea and, at auction, the property went to Paragon Development for more than twice the amount we had hoped to raise, and didn’t achieve.”
Park Lodge is a community building and home to regular visitors of the town. However, the development means it will not be open to the public.
Gaz Ace said: “It looks fine as it is. Why do people want to alter a place that has been like that for as long as I can remember? I’ve been going past that house for the last 57 years.”
Lorraine Salt also commented on the forum, saying “Clearly they are too blind to see that they are spoiling our heritage.”
Although neighbours have not been consulted yet, residents are disappointed with the new proposed extension plans and feel Park Lodge does not need to be changed.
Paragon Development director Ben Sheppard said: “When we open it will provide around five jobs for people in the area and while the refurbishment is taking place we will be hiring tradespeople as and when needed from Nottinghamshire – why go further afield?
“It is a very well located, prominent, unique building which is very convenient for us as many of the directors live in West Bridgford.”
Park Lodge shares the grade listing of the hall by virtue of being a curtilage building and despite being previously used as a three-bedroom home and office, it has more recently been used as a spiritualist church.
The entrance lobby fronts onto Bridgford Road and the extension would be constructed in glass with a metal frame.