Kilmington council objects to new church plan

But church officials remain optimistic they will get the go ahead

KILMINGTON parish council has voted to object to the building of a new Baptist Church on a geenfield site in the village.

At their meeting on Friday members decided the scale of the project was too big and that no serious thought had been given to traffic concerns. The proposed car parking facilities were also insufficient.

Councillors also noted that the entire planning application had left many questions unanswered, and had created a sharp difference in opinion in the village.

Before the council reached its decision, chairman Michael Collier, invited comments from the audience, of about 100 people.

Resident John Whitley, urged support. He said: “The replacement building is designed to hold about 150 people and is not extremely more than the old one that could hold 110 people, space was at times a big issue in the old building.”

Richard Lawrence, who owns a property opposite the proposed site, said: “I have no objection to a Baptist church in the village. But I do object to the design and size, its impact on property in the vicinity, impact on traffic as George lane is single traffic and the adverse effect the construction would have on the wildlife, not to mention the potential of noise pollution.”

Most Read

Lionel Quick said that he had lived in the village for 75 years and been a member of the Baptist Church for 52 years. He claimed the old church site was operating at capacity and there was no room for an extension. The proposed new site was the best solution.

Baptist Church pastor, The Reverend Darrell Holmes , said: “We hope we can build a facility, and allow our old chapel to be developed for housing, bringing nearly �1.5mn of investment into the village, along with all the employment and local benefit.

After the council voted to object to the church plan Mr Holmes remained optimistic .

He told The Herald: “Though it was sad to see the parish council unable to support our planning application, I was heartened by the fantastic regard that the village have for the Kilmington Baptist Church and the many ways we serve people in the village. We continue to submit ourselves to the planning process.”

“I am still hopeful that one day in the not too distant future, we will see a replacement Baptist Chapel in Kilmington Village once again.”

The final decision on the planning application will be made by East Devon District Council.