UPDATE: for clarity no plans to stop religious services, it will just have more performances.
In the papers a little while ago there was a piece on plans to turn St Bartholomew's Church on London Road into a performance venue. Most people I spoke to thought this was positive, but some people in the immediate local area were interested on the impact that this might have on issues like parking. I asked for a briefing from planning and got the following:
"You had queried the proposal to convert St Bartholomew’s Church on London Road to a performance venue. In response to your questions:
- The church have not submitted any request for pre-applications discussions regarding planning to the Council’s Planning Section.
- The use of the church for occasional events/performances would not require planning permission. A church is a D1 (non-residential institution) use under the Use Classes Order 1995 (as amended). A church hall is also a D1 use, so the normal activities that would take place within a church hall would not require permission if they were to take place within the church. To fully convert the church from a D1 use to a music/concert hall (a D2 assembly and leisure use) would require planning permission.
- There isn’t an adopted planning policy regarding changes of use from D1 to D2. Were an application required, it is likely that impact upon the amenity of neighbouring residential properties and parking would be the main considerations."