Church conversion plan supported

Plans to convert St John’s Church in Knowle village into a home have been recommended for approval by district planning officers.

The plan is for the church, in Dalditch Lane, to be extended as part of the conversion.

In a report prepared by East Devon District Council (EDDC) planning officers, before a final decision on approval is made by councillors, they say: “This proposal would secure a viable re-use of the building which makes an important contribution to the character and appearance of the area. The proposal includes a substantial rear extension which is not essential to achieve this objective but nevertheless has been designed in a sympathetic manner which would not detract from the important characteristics and features of the building.”

The Victorian church was closed last year, after 119 years of worship, because of a dwindling congregation. Planning permission will now be decided by members of EDDC’s development management committee, at a meeting next Tuesday (April 2) at the Knowle in Sidmouth at 2pm.