Brethren tees up golf centre for worship

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LadyKiwi
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Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:16 am

Brethren tees up golf centre for worship

Post by LadyKiwi » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:33 pm

Brethren tees up golf centre for worship
Friday, 2 November 2018 - Planning

MORE than 60 objections have been triggered by an Evangelical Christian movement’s bid to convert an old golf centre into an assembly hall for religious worship and charitable works.

The Plymouth Brethren’s proposed change of use for the old Tri Golf Centre, next to Applegarth Farm, in Grayshott’s Headley Road, includes a new car park.

The proposal also includes a dedicated area for Brethren’s charitable Rapid Relief Team, which assists the community, emergency services and other organisations, when there is a crisis, in the same manner as the Red Cross operates.

The Brethren currently hold meetings in halls at Camelsdale, Passfield, and Liphook with the main meeting hall at Fernhurst’s Parkway Gospel Hall.

The application has been submitted, because the Fernhurst hall is too small for the group’s services.

If the plan is approved, the Applegarth centre would become the main asembly hall, with the other centres used for smaller meetings.

Many of the objectors claim the application should be classified as a development rather than a conversion.

They have protested to EHDC that developments are not permitted within the Settlement Gap – the green space dividing Headley and Grayshott.

More than 800 people have signed a petition in support of ‘preserving the countryside between Grayshott and Headley Down’.

Objecting to the proposal for the old golf driving range, one resident wrote: “The application should be classified as development rather than conversion and, as East Hampshire District Council is aware, development is not permitted within the Settlement Gap.

“Development in the countryside is only permitted for leisure pursuits, which cannot be accommodated elsewhere.

“The driving range provided a leisure pursuit which required open space.

“A church does not need to be located in the countryside and would be better placed in a town with good public transport links.

“Given the likely number of attendees, the parking area to the front of the proposed development is wholly insufficient.

“This is most likely to lead to parking behind the building, or on nearby roads. A parking area of any size constitutes urbanisation and should, therefore, not be permitted within the Settlement Gap.

“The proposed entrance is exceedingly dangerous. Visibility on the north side of Headley Road is poor.”

More than 30 responses in support have been received, with one claiming it would benefit the Settlement Gap, with the conversion of existing buildings that need sprucing up.

“It will be a buffer and prevention to developments that are eroding the ‘local gap’,” one supporter wrote.

“This application meets the needs of some of the local community, and the application carries with it a base for an international charity that reaches out to man in time of need.”

Grayshott councillor Ferris Cowper said: “I know there are mixed feelings in the village about the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, but those feelings, whether justified or not, have nothing to do with planning.”

Mr Cowper said the main issues were whether it constituted a ‘new build development,’ which would stand less chance of gaining consent than a change of use, plus the traffic issues.

A maximum congregation of 300, would generate “lot of traffic on a tricky bend with a 40mph speed limit,” he said, compared to much lower levels generated as a driving range.

The site was sold to Plymouth Brethren group back in 2014.

http://tinyurl.com/yd6x2j6d

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