Norfolk church must go back to drawing board with plans

Residents opposed to a major redevelopment of Brundall's St Laurence Church have seen the bold plans rejected today.

Broadland District Council's Planning Committee refused the planning application for the medieval Grade II listed building, which dates back to around 1250.

The plan included proposals to demolish parts of the church, build a large two-storey extension and create a new access route for vehicles.

The existing rectory garden would have become a car park and residents of neighbouring Chancel Close had voiced concerns about loss of light and environmental effects.

Mark Reeve was one of the local residents at the meeting, in reaction to the decision he said: 'This idea came from a small church committee who didn't listen to other people, and didn't take good advice.

'Its time to stop and reflect on the views expressed by the local community, rather than going to appeal or making more token changes and re-submitting the application. People don't want to see an oversized two-storey extension bolted on to the side of a medieval church.

This was the wrong building, at the wrong time, in the wrong location.'

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However, the St Laurence committee were given some hope for a future application when Cllr Dalmain Dewgarde made a point of abstaining from voting, the only vote against 12 which rejected the application.

He said: 'I'm sure this extension has been somebody's dream as when you have a church it is not just for worship, it also about serving the community.

'I hope to hear that little word, compromise, so that whoever's dream this extension is can still be realised.'