Arlington Chapel in Loftus to be demolished due to safety concerns

The former Arlington Chapel and School House in Loftus are to be demolished.

Two independent structural assessments, which were commissioned by Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, have confirmed the derelict state of the buildings which pose the risk of collapse.

The Council brought the 19th Century building into public ownership in 2021 as it was identified as a key plot for potential future development for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund bid.

Both reports detail the very poor structural condition of the buildings and highlight that the impending weather change as winter approaches increases the risk to the structure due to the higher winds and snow fall.

Due to the serious risk to the public, the Council will proceed to demolish the buildings without delay. Work has been carried out to secure immediate risk items and fencing has been put up to ensure no one can enter the site.

MGL Demolition have been appointed to carry out the demolition, which will take place in the next two weeks. A date has yet to be confirmed but will be publicised once this has been agreed.

Demolition will take approximately eight weeks to complete, and the neighbouring residents and businesses have been notified.

The total cost of purchasing the building and demolition is £550,000 which will be met by the Indigenous Growth Fund, administered by Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The Council intends to stockpile the sandstone from Arlington Chapel to reuse in other planned regeneration schemes in Loftus.

Cllr Chris Gallacher, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at the council, said:

“As we approach the winter months, the building poses a serious risk to members of the public which is neighboured by a private residence and a public house. We have a duty of care to ensure this dangerous building is dealt with swiftly and safely and will proceed to demolish the building without delay.

“Using the sandstone from the Chapel to reuse in other developments planned for Loftus, along with the preservation and restoration of the former Barclays Bank and United Reformed Church will pay tribute to Loftus’ Architectural heritage.”