PICTURES: Plans unveiled for new �1.6m Sheringham church

These are the first images of a proposed new �1.6m church in Sheringham.

The building is set to be developed for Sheringham Baptist Church on the site of the former Abbeyfield care home on Cromer Road.

Yesterday the church staged a public consultation about the proposed development - 24 hours after it cleared a big hurdle when planners approved the demolition of the existing church on Holway Road and its replacement with four houses and three flats.

The church was asking for people's views ahead of submitting an application for full planning permission for the two-storey building, which is set to have a capacity in the main worship room of 250 - up from the 120-150 at Holway Road.

Pastor The Rev Bryan Pickard said: 'The present site is too small and the building is in a very poor state of repair. We've had subsidence and other problems.

'We can't even run our present activities on site. We have so many young people there on a Sunday morning that they have to go off-site.'

He added: 'We can't expand on the site that we've got, which clearly is better for residential use. We've recognised that and taken into account what the neighbours have said.'

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The new site has outline planning permission for the demolition of the former care home and the construction of a church.

The congregation previously consulted the public on plans to develop a new church building on the existing Holway Road site.

But the exercise resulted in a number of concerns from residents, particularly about problems with parking and questions over whether residential development would be more suitable.

The baptist church subsequently acquired the Abbeyfield site on Cromer Road, and has now drawn up plans for a new church there.

Thursday's planning decision was a significant step forward for the plan. The church can now seek buyers for its existing site, with the planning consent in place for the building's demolition and replacement with seven homes.

Eryl Williams, speaking at Thursday's planning meeting on behalf of Sheringham Baptist Church, said of the plan for four houses and three flats: 'Objections have been considered and amendments made to the plans.

'We believe this is in keeping with the surrounding residential buildings and the approach into Sheringham from the south.

'We believe this is the best way forward, enabling us to move to a different site of mixed development for a future application.'

The proposal was passed unanimously by North Norfolk District Council's development control committee.