Friday, October 11, 2013
Plans for a major expansion of Brixington Community Church have been recommended for approval by district planners.
The backing for the plan – to erect a two-storey building with around four times the footprint of the existing church on its site in Churchill Road – comes despite strong opposition from neighbours, who say it will be overbearing, and from Exmouth Town Council.
Despite their concerns, ahead of a crucial meeting to decide on planning permission, East Devon District Council’s planning department has given the scheme its backing.
A report by officers states: “It is considered that despite the large scale and prominence of the building, it would not be overly harmful. The new building and uses should be part of the focal point for the community and provide and appropriate frontage to the main road.
“The design of the building is fairly modern and the applicant has taken care to propose a design that will reduce its impact as much as possible whilst providing the internal space necessary to cater for the growing congregation and large number of community groups that do/will use the building.”
But objectors from neighbouring Ellwood Road, as well as saying the new building would dwarf their properties, also fear it will lead to more car parking on surrounding roads.
The town council’s planning committee said it would be overbearing, cause loss of light and privacy, there was inadequate parking, insufficient access for emergency vehicles, and the design was out of character with the area.
Councillors on EDDC’s development management committee will make a final decision on the plan at their meeting at the Knowle in Sidmouth on Tuesday at 11am.