Plans for a three-storey block of flats next to a Peterborough church have been given the green light despite objections from residents and a local councillor.
The proposal for 14 flats on land close to St Joseph’s Catholic Church on Gladstone Road, Millfield was approved by the city council’s Planning and Environmental Protection Committee on Tuesday (November 26).
Head of Planning, Nick Harding, told the meeting: “The project will require the front half of the church to be demolished, removing existing dilapidated buildings there.
“This will make space for the three-storey modern block that will house the 14 flats which will butt onto the remaining portion of the church building.
“Additional parking space will be found from the Nursery and Day School that at one time had as many as 90 attendees, but now has fewer than 30 on any given day.
“While the consensus from the planning department is to recommend approval of this application there remains the problem of the narrow passage onto Taverners Road, through which all vehicle movements into and out of the car park would be required to make.”
Ward Councillor, Cllr Mohammed Jamil said: “While I am not completely against this development as the 14 flats are much needed in the Millfield area, this three-storey construction is absolutely without precedent in the area, and quite ugly in its design.
“It will require the demolition of the existing frontage to the church which are the only buildings of any age and character left in that part of the ward.
“I know that the buildings are in a poor state of repair, but this new building attached to the front of the remains of the church will look very ugly in my opinion.”
Cllr Amjad Iqbal was more concerned about the vehicle movements in and out of the car park: “Taverners Road is already one of the most congested roads in Millfield, and now we are proposing an additional fourteen vehicles coming down a very narrow passage out of the car park – I think there is a possibility of danger to other road users and pedestrians.”
Cllr Christian Hogg said: “I propose that we allow this development as the flats are much needed in the area, but ask the developer if he can add mirrors on the end of the passage leading to Taverners Road so that vehicles exiting the car park can see if it is clear and safe to come out.”
After considerable debate, the application was approved with conditions by majority vote.