Saturday, 19 August 2017

Council objects to new church hall plans

AMENDED plans to demolish Watlington church hall and build two houses have been criticised by

AMENDED plans to demolish Watlington church hall and build two houses have been criticised by the parish council once again.

St Leonard’s Church wants to replace the hall in Pyrton Lane with a five-bedroom house and new rectory. The new house and existing rectory in Hill Road would then be sold to pay for an extension to the church.

The amended plans have repositioned the car park and properties and show an undeveloped buffer zone.

But the council’s planning committee has objected, saying the scale of the houses is too large for the site and the development would result in the loss of an important open space. It also said the parking provision seemed “insufficient” for the needs of the church, especially for weddings and funerals.

The committee added: “The council would like to see a dialogue between the Watlington environment groups and the church regarding the chalk stream which we note is both nationally and internationally rare as well as containing a diverse amount of wildlife that includes trout.”



The church says the sustainability of St Leonard’s relies on the development going ahead as it costs £1,200 a week to keep the Grade II listed building open.

Planning permission for the £150,000 church extension was granted in 2012.



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