Plans to demolish hall next to the Glass Church are withdrawn

Plans were submitted to demolish the church’s ‘tired’ hall and replace it with a community hall, café, offices and two homes. Picture: WADDINGTON ARCHITECTS (38196821)

PLANS to demolish a 70-year-old hall at the Glass Church in St Lawrence and replace it with a new “hope centre” featuring a community hall, café, offices and two new homes have been withdrawn.

Officers had recommended that the plans by Waddington Architects for the project adjacent to the Grade 1-listed St Matthew’s Church be refused at this week’s Planning Committee meeting.

They concluded that the “scale and mass of this development will dominate this highly sensitive site”.

Originally submitted in March 2023, the application covered the demolition of the church hall, vicarage, cottage and outbuildings.

An accompanying report stated that the hall was “tired”, having been built in 1954 and showing “a range of building fabric and structural defects” resulting from now “discredited” construction methods.

The proposed St Matthew’s Hope Centre would have included a community hall of around 300sq-m, a café, offices and other community spaces, along with parking facilities, landscaping and an access route to the adjoining Coronation Park.

Both the ground and first floors would have featured three-bedroom flats.

Speaking to the JEP last March, a spokesperson for St Matthew’s said the development was designed to be a centre of beauty, excellence and communal benefit, adding: “Our vision is that this new centre will be at the heart of our Island community, serving the community and all who come to visit our world-renowned church, with its Lalique glass.”

In the assessment report issued by a planning officer ahead of the Planning Committee’s June meeting, which takes place tomorrow, it was stated that while the principle of replacing the hall was considered acceptable, its scale and mass were not considered appropriate, breaching several planning policies.

The report added: “It will dominate the Grade 1-listed church and have a negative impact on the setting of the Grade 1-listed Coronation Park.”

A submission from the Historic Environment Team expressed concern about the project, including the prospect of the hall being larger than the church and making the church “ancillary” to the hall, as well as including plant on the roof described as “clutter” and “an unfortunate addition”.

A spokesperson for Waddington Architects confirmed the withdrawal of the application, but said no further comment about the future of the site was possible while the project lead was away from the office.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –