Planning application refused

AN application to transform a redundant church into a four-bedroom home has been refused by planning officials.

AN application to transform a redundant church into a four-bedroom home has been refused by planning officials.

St Mary the Less, a Grade II* listed building, on Old Bury Road in Thetford, has fallen into disrepair over recent years and become a blight to people living nearby.

Breckland Council has now refused to grant planning permission based on a lack of information supplied by owner and London property developer Ron Collins.

A report submitted by Breckland head of legal services Michael Horn, said: “Given the Grade II* listed status of the building, its deteriorated state of repair, its prominent location within the conservation area and the significant scope of the work proposed, it is considered that an insufficient level of detail has been submitted to accompany the application.”


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The report went on to say Mr Collins failed to provide information relating to the heritage of the building, impacts on biodiversity and geological conservation, and the trees and landscape.

Ownership of the building, which no longer serves as a church, has changed several times and previous permission granted to transform it into flats lapsed.

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Speaking at a Thetford Town Council planning committee meeting, chairman Robert Kybird said: “We note the refusal and on that basis only do we want a tree survey but a tree management plan to be part of any planning application.”

Meanwhile, Mr Collins has been served with an emergency works notice by Breckland Council to start work on making the building watertight. Last month the church also failed to sell at auction. It is due to go back onto the open market.

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