Former church and Jarrow Auction Rooms destroyed by fire set to become apartments development

A former church, which has sat as an empty shell since it was gutted by fire three years ago, could soon rise from the ashes and be converted into apartments.

The plans for the 19th Century building in Jarrow have yet to be completed by an architect. But the owners will be asking South Tyneside Council for permission to convert it into five two-bedroom flats.

What had previously been a Methodist church on Bede Burn Road was serving as home to the Jarrow Auction Rooms company when it caught fire in the early hours of November 24, 2017.

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Ten appliances and more than 40 firefighters attended the blaze, which a Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue officer described as “a significant structural fire”.

From outside, the former church on Bede Burn Road looks much the same today as it did three years ago.

The inside was completely destroyed along with the auction company’s stock. The cost of repairs was estimated by its owners at £280,000,

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But the firm now operates from the Perseverance Social Club in Whitehead Street in Tyne Dock.

Before being used by the auction business, the church had been Park Road Methodist Church. However, it hasn’t been a place of worship since 2012. It first opened its doors in 1885, although it is not a listed building.

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Entrepreneur Tony Singh is applying to convert the burned-out building into apartments.

Today the burned-out church is still surrounded by temporary fencing and from the outside does not appear very different to how it looked after the fire in 2017.

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It is now owned by South Tyneside entrepreneur Tony Singh, whose business interests include the operation of the Hedworth Hall venue in Dean Road, South Shields.

Mr Singh said: “We have an architect working on the plans. Once they’re done we’ll be submitting them to the council. Hopefully we’ll be moving forward after lockdown.

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“We want to start straight away, as soon as we get the planning permission. The plans will be put forward in the next couple of weeks. We’ve already carried out a bat survey and it came back clear.

This was the scene soon after the fire in November 2017. Picture by Stu Norton.
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“The apartments that we’re planning will be high-end.”

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