Nearly at an end, the historic Fenland church that has waited years to spend a penny

A HISTORIC Fenland church may finally get what its founding fathers failed to provide and which has already taken two years of delicate negotiations to achieve- a toilet.

A planning application to provide a loo for the Grade II listed Emmanuel Church at Parson Drove – built in 1872- has been submitted to Fenland District Council.

The proposal is to take down and convert part of the gardeners' store (formerly the boiler house) at the west end of the church to provide a WC. An extension will create a link to the main body of the church.

In a design statement Cambridge architects Purcell Miller Tritton architects point out that 'there is currently no lavatory within the church with the nearest convenience being within the church hall which is unsuitable for use. It is also non compliant with current disability discrimination requirements.'

They say that the church has a 'thriving ministry for baptism, weddings and funerals: a significant local funeral will often full the church.'

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To sustain worship for church members and to make it inviting to new worshippers a toilet is essential.

Part demolition of the gardeners' store will involve reducing the building's height which they say is 'intrusive to the west elevation of the church. The reduction in height would be beneficial.'

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A new lobby will be built next to it and the existing Gothic door set in a brick arch with decorative metal hinges and handle will be retained for access.

'The impact of the proposal on the heritage asset is minimal with an aesthetical gain over the existing arrangements,' add the architects.

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