Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Plans getting drawn up!

For those of you wondering what's been happening - let me tell you we have been as busy as bees!

Initial conversion plan

We have now agreed an initial plan, and are getting ready to take it to planning permission - through listed building consent and English Heritage hoops as well!

In this initial plan:

  • The main entrance is ramped to allow disabled access. 
  • The porch is enclosed by glass to make a warm and welcoming space - yet the iron gates are kept and the glass allows the space to feel open.
  • To the right as you come in there is a meeting room, accessible from the porch.
  • In the main space, there is a clear floor area, the font has been moved into the chancel, the floor raised and new heating and lighting put in.
  • In the far aisle there is a pod which contains the kitchen and store area. To the right of the pod there is an exhibition space for local history and George Herbert. To the left there is a new door out into the toilet block, built into a small extension in the building (this gives us another fire exit and allows the building capacity to increase from 60 to more like 200).
  • The chancel is divided from the nave by a full height glass wall, with doors in the middle to allow weddings or school assemblies to use the whole space.
Other news

We are still working to see what uses the tower might be put to. We are looking at whether we can afford to put PV cells (solar power) on the tower roof yet (we know we want to, but there’s reams of paperwork and legal steps to go through). We are also re-investigating heating options - we want to be as "green" as possible, but need it to be effective as well! There are various legal procedures to go through in making the church redundant and then the Diocese leasing the building back to the Community Group and the PCC. The PCC also need to work on how they want to re-order the chancel. Sadly the organ is now in need of tens of thousands of pounds of repairs, and so we are looking to use a high quality electric one for services from now on. Nowadays the quality of these is so good, that few would be able to tell the difference.

We are really making good progress

Having the plans means we can start to do drawings and show people what the building will look like. It also means we can start negotiating with English Heritage and get to planning approval. Sorting out the leases means the fund-raising team can begin work in earnest on some of the larger funding sources. We have now raised enough money to pay the architect’s fees up to planning permission, and we have a grant for getting the gas and water supplies up to the church. There’s a way to go, but we’re beginning to see real progress.


Jane The Booklady said...

Do have a look at my blog as I have written about our Christmas Carol concert!
Jane x

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