Friday, 6 June 2014

Good news at Planning

This week saw both parts of the planning process cross the starting line (!).

So to close the church we have to apply to the Church Commissioners to make it redundant (and later we will ask the Bishop to make it legal for weddings and services again. If that seems complicated it was because we advised against the other route of partial redundancy by the Church Commissioners). Like Council Planners, the Commissioners publish a scheme and ask for comments. There has been one negative comment and several positive. There may need to be an enquiry or hearing either in July or September - but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

On June 5th the planning application to the council was closed and the real business of scrutinising our proposals began. They have a lot of statutory duties to consider, and its not an emotional decision but  guided by all sorts of clear point systems. But we live in an era of the Localism Bill where people power makes a difference.

I have been overwhelmed to find we have over 45 letters of support - which is an amazing feat in itself and sends a clear message. Thank you so much!

And of the others consulted, only the society for the protection of ancient buildings (SPAB) seem to want the pews kept and things unchanged in an unhelpful way - all the rest are for us - even English Heritage have been very encouraging with just a few minor tweaks that I'm sure we can manage.

Its been a great week!


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