The Vicar of historic Holy Trinity Church has thanked planning committee members for backing the transformation of Hull’s most amazing place.
Hull City Council’s Planning Committee today granted full consent, with relatively minor conditions, for external changes to the Grade 1 listed building in the heart of Hull’s Old Town.
The changes are part of a £4.5m transformation of the magnificent building and its grounds to enable Holy Trinity, England’s largest parish church and one of Hull’s oldest surviving buildings, to replace outdated and inadequate facilities, become much more accessible to the community and host a wider range of cultural and social events.
Crucially, the regeneration plans will create new income streams to secure a long-term sustainable future for 700-year-old Holy Trinity as a spectacular, vibrant and welcoming place of worship and community use.
The Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev Canon Dr Neal Barnes, said: “Everyone connected with Holy Trinity would like to thank members of the planning committee for supporting our vision for the church and approving these changes.
“We are delighted that the planning committee has recognised the substantial benefits they will bring to the church, to the wider community and to our great city.
“We are so grateful for the support we have received at all levels within Hull City Council and are excited to be working in partnership with the local authority to integrate the churchyard into a transformed Trinity Square as the centrepiece of the Old Town ready for the 2017 City of Culture year.
“The tremendous support we have had from the council has been matched by members of our congregation, the local community and partner organisations, which has been so heartening.
“Meanwhile, the generosity of funders has enabled us to reach the half-way mark in our work to raise £4.5m to pay for all the planned changes, so we are well on the way.
“We are also continuing to make progress in gaining the necessary consents from the Diocese of York for changes within the church, including opening up the Nave to create a new flexible space in a beautiful setting for Christian worship, as well as to host a wide range of cultural and community events.”
Dr Barnes added: “It is truly inspiring to see so much achieved since we launched the development project less than six months ago.
“The transformation of Holy Trinity will bless the city of Hull and our wonderful Old Town with a revitalised place of worship and a true centre of community and cultural life. We also feel blessed that so many people and organisations are helping us to make this exciting vision a reality.”
The plans approved today include a high-quality, glazed extension to the south-west corner of the church to accommodate a stylish new cafe, kitchen and servery area, with access into the church and out into Trinity Square. The extension will also include new toilets, including an accessible toilet, and a choir rehearsal/meeting room.
Permission was granted by the committee for replacement of a 1930s extension on the south side of the church, which includes the boiler room and existing toilets, with a new, larger annexe housing a plant room and new boilers powering underfloor heating and radiators.
The local authority consent covers the partial removal of the Victorian churchyard wall to create a welcoming entrance to the church and a unified, flexible public space in Trinity Square fit to host a variety of services, community and cultural events.
Removal of cracked and uneven flagstones which make the churchyard unsightly, hazardous and unusable as a public space was supported by councillors, with the area set to be re-laid in natural sandstone.
Consent was also granted to remove 10 trees outside the church, including a large Black Poplar, to prevent further damage to the churchyard and underground drainage and avoid undermining Holy Trinity’s foundations and structure. Compensatory tree planting will be provided in Trinity Square as part of the public realm improvements.
The planning committee granted approval to the scheme with conditions relating to agreement on the layout for parking for the church; materials and colours for public realm works; and the position, design and materials for a cycle stand.
Archaeology and site investigations will begin in Holy Trinity’s grounds within the next month, with work in Trinity Square due to begin from October, subject to diocesan approval, as part of Hull City Council’s public realm improvements in readiness for 2017.