PLANS for a new parish centre in a Buckinghamshire conservation area were submitted despite previous objections.

A new planning application by the St Leonard’s Parochial Church Council proposes to build a new parish centre in Chesham Bois off Glebe Way.

The proposed new centre will use sustainable materials to better accommodate church and community gatherings, including a 275 person capacity worship space, café, preschool provision, flexible hall space for youth activity, meeting rooms, new rectory and a large kitchen suitable for large groups.

The fresh November planning application follows a failed application and appeal decision in April 2022, which was dismissed because the previous plans didn’t “preserve the integrity of the Chilterns Beechwood Special Area of Conservation,” Planning Inspector Liam Page said.

As a result, the new parish centre plans omitted a building known as Keepers Cottage to better suit the nature of the conservation area.

The new centre comprises of around 800sq.m. across two main buildings up to 2.5 storeys high, meaning no higher than “a normal residential house ridge height,” the proposal by Paul Southouse Architects said.

Plans included parking for up to 90 cars, access off Glebe Way wide enough for two vehicles, a dedicated pre-school drop-off area and covered cycle storage for 36 bikes.

A noise impact assessment has been carried out to "ensure the proposal does not adversely affect the neighbouring properties," the plans said. 

The design of the buildings is inspired by “faith, family, fortification and festivity” while an ecology survey was carried out “to ensure the proposal will not adversely affect any protected species.”

The building materials will consider the surrounding woodland setting using natural elements and structures such as green sedum roof covering, flint and timber.

The previous application attracted hundreds of objections, slamming the initial plan as 'excessive' and unnecessary. 

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