PLANS to build a new monastery at the Community of the Resurrection have been approved.
The new monastery will form living quarters for the 20 brothers currently there, meaning the Community of the Resurrection can be opened for visitors.
Kirklees Council planning officers said the new building would be in the form of a Mandorla – or almond shaped – which was seen in early Christian art to frame the figure of Christ in majesty.
It will house 25 brethren rooms.
Councillors on the Heavy Woollen Planning sub-committee were told the existing monastery at the site in Stocks Bank Road, parts of which are Grade II listed and date back to 1911, was no longer fit for purpose.
A report to the sub-committee said: “It has an awkward layout, is in a poor state of repair and incurs high maintenance costs due to its age.” It added the building needed “substantial investment” to bring the monastery up to modern day standards, resulting in a building which wouldn’t meet the brethren’s needs.
Without the new building the Community of the Resurrection would not be able to remain at the site.
The Ancient Monument Society said it regretted the loss of features like the lake at the site, and said the development was “audacious but acceptable”.
But it added the scheme promised one of Yorkshire’s “most extraordinary new buildings” so raised no objections to the application.
The sub-committee members agreed to pass the application at their meeting last Thursday.
Moving to approve the application, Coun Kath Taylor said: “I think we’re very fortunate to have this Community in Mirfield showing so much faith and wanting to stay in the town.”
Coun Khizar Iqbal said the Community of the Resurrection’s facility was “very impressive”.
Chairing the committee, Coun Paul Kane said: “It will be a fantastic building, all praise to the architect who has done this. It will enhance the area and encourage the people of Mirfield when it’s built to go and have a look.”
Approving the new monastery, the councillors asked for an additional condition for the 12 trees which needed to be removed during the work to be replanted.