Essential Works for Phoenix Hall Granted Approval
Plans for major repair works to help safeguard the future of a historic masonic hall have been given permission. Sunderland City Council’s planning department received an application in 2021 for Phoenix Hall. Following a condition inspection, several works were identified to help preserve the building including repairs and ‘like-for-like replacement’ works where possible. This included repairs and maintenance to roof coverings, re-pointing of external areas and the renewal, repair and redecoration of windows and doors. Internally, the works also covered the repair of cracks and redecoration of ceilings and walls, as well as the ‘renewal, re-fixing and repair’ of the temple floor including the vinyl floor, floorboards and joists.
After considering the application, Sunderland City Council’s planning department approved the plans on March 30, 2022. A decision report, prepared by council planners, noted the ‘exceptionally significant’ listed building which is the ‘oldest purpose-built masonic hall still in use by Freemasons anywhere in the country’. The council’s built heritage officer added that the conservation works would ‘put the building in good repair and consolidate its architectural integrity, enabling its continued long-term use as a purpose-built Freemasons’ hall and the sustaining of its significance into the future’.
More details are available from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham's website.