Accusations made against The Church of England

PUBLISHED: 12:58 05 March 2008 | UPDATED: 08:22 02 June 2010

The Church of England faces accusations of putting profit before tradition in trying to build five homes in the grounds of an historic 19th century church.

The Church of England faces accusations of putting profit before tradition in trying to build five homes in the grounds of an historic 19th century church.

By Louise Hughes Photo: Brian Purdy THE Church of England faces accusations of putting profit before tradition in trying to build five homes in the grounds of an historic 19th century church. It is considered that the setting of the terraced dwellings wi

By Louise Hughes Photo: Brian Purdy

THE Church of England faces accusations of putting profit before tradition in trying to build five homes in the grounds of an historic 19th century church.

"It is considered that the setting of the terraced dwellings will have an adverse impact on the setting of the church in two ways," says Hamish Laird, a planning officer with Fenland District Council.

"First, the presence of the buildings in close proximity, to the church will result in them competing with the church in terms of their size and scale, and as there is nothing of similar size and scale so close to the church, will dominate the setting.

"Second, the creation of the new access to meet the requirements of the local authority, will result in the loss of a section of hedge and a number of trees within the church grounds."

The future development of land behind the derelict St Mary Magdalene Church, in Guyhirn is now open to discussion for councillors.

Mr Laird refused the proposal, saying it will have a major impact on the area's character and neighbours amenities. New access and car parking facilities were also included in the plans.

Concerns from neighbours and residents included:-

# Loss of privacy and natural sunlight due to height and proximity of the homes.

# Increased traffic and noise.

# Poor access to High Road.

# Detrimental to setting.

# Access issues.

The outline application - submitted by Ely Diocesan - was initially approved by Wisbech St Mary Parish Council.

But as planners refused the proposal, councillors on the Fenland Planning Committee will now decide whether building the two-and-a-half storey homes goes ahead.


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