THE PLANS for a new church centre in Buckinghamshire village have been met with hundreds of objections.

Concerned neighbours, residents and groups have expressed their opposition to the plans by St Leonard’s Parochian Church Council for new church centre development in Chesham Bois.

If approved by planning officials, the current Rectory and Parish Centre on Glebe Way will be demolished to build a new rectory and a Parish Centre in the Chesham Bois Conservation Area using environmentally friendly, carbon neutral materials.

The plans also include a separate nursery, two buildings housing a prayer room and bins, a bicycle storage, an outdoor fire pit, landscaping and parking.

Since December last year, the new proposal has attracted around 187 objections and 47 letters in support. 

Chesham Bois resident Alison Bailey wrote: “The new plans do not address any of the previous 400 plus objections or the reasons given by Buckinghamshire Council for unanimously rejecting the application in 2021.

“If the scale of the project had been reduced, we could all have been enjoying the benefits of improved facilities in the village.

“By their complete disregard of the views of the local residents, the applicant has shown that they have no interest in our diverse community.

“The applicant needs to listen to local opinion and to work with the Parish Council and others to come up with a smaller scale parish centre which would be welcomed by the community. And our young families do deserve a better nursery.”

Amersham resident Juliet Brown supported the plans for more modern facilities built on Church land.

“The current Parish Centre is no longer fit for purpose and I believe that the plans for the new Centre are attractive, and that the building will be a great asses to Chesham Bois providing 21st Century facilities for the whole community,” she said.

Another neighbour Shaun Aherne said the “size and intensity” of the current plan was too big for the site in the heart of the conservation area.

He was worried increase in traffic would cause light, visual, noise and air pollution issues.

“There is already bad congestion due to parking in effect making the roads single lane.

“Inevitably, parking will spill out on to the surrounding roads,” he added.

St Leonard’s PCC defended the plan in a statement: “St Leonard’s Church has used the existing Parish Centre to serve the community of Chesham Bois since the 1930’s, and we are looking ahead to the future needs of the Parish, as well as the current ones. We know there has been deep concerns about the scale of the development in the community, but there has also been significant support expressed also. The current Parish Centre is well past its sell-by-date and we would like the new Parish Centre to be realised so the church can facilitate ongoing support at the heart of the community for many more decades to come.”