A controversial plan to demolish a church hall and replace it with a new parish centre will be decided tonight.

Councillors will be asked to give conditional permission to the planning application during the meeting of Buckinghamshire Council’s East Buckinghamshire Area Planning Committee at 6:30pm.

The committee deferred St Leonard’s Parochial Church Council’s application when it was heard in October.

Its proposals include demolishing the existing parish centre and associated outbuildings on Glebe Way in Chesham Bois, which sit around 0.5 miles away from the church building on High Bois Lane.

The church wants to redevelop the site to provide a new parish centre, prayer room, pre-school, rectory and parking spaces, arguing that the existing church building and parish centre are no longer big enough.

This application follows the refusal of a previous application, which was dismissed at appeal in April 2022.

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Planning officers said the current plans are identical to the previous ones apart from a previously proposed dwelling ‘Keeper’s Cottage’, which has been removed from this application.

The application has been called in by all three unitary councillors and is opposed by Chesham Bois Parish Council and hundreds of local residents.

The grounds for many of the objections include a lack of proper consideration of biodiversity, damage to badgers and bat habitats, light pollution, inadequate vehicle access and inadequate parking provision.

One local resident attacked the plans due to the potential “traffic chaos and subsequent pollution” of hundreds of cars visiting the new parish centre, which he said would be “horrendous”.

However, another resident, who backs the plans, said the church’s current facilities were of “poor quality” and “do not support community spirit”, arguing that the church is trying to “bring people together for the good”.

To view the application use the reference number PL/22/4074/FA in the council’s planning portal.