Councillors throw out plans to convert Henlow Parish Hall into homes

COUNCILLORS have thrown out two planning applications to convert Henlow Parish Hall into six residential dwellings. One of the applications called for the partial demolition of the building. Both applications by Henlow Parish Council were dismissed last

COUNCILLORS have thrown out two planning applications to convert Henlow Parish Hall into six residential dwellings.

One of the applications called for the partial demolition of the building.

Both applications by Henlow Parish Council were dismissed last week by Central Bedfordshire Council's (CBC) development management committee.

The revised scheme followed a refusal by CBC on previous planning applications on the grounds of unacceptable alterations that would clutter and unbalance the appearance of the building and would have an adverse impact on the amenities and privacy of nearby residential properties.


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The reasons for refusing the application to convert the hall were "the proposed development, by reason of its design and siting, particularly in the fenestration (windows) for the bedrooms would result in an unacceptable standard of accommodation for future occupiers".

The second application to demolish the hall was recommended for refusal by the planning officer on the grounds that the application was in the Henlow conservation area "and by nature of the proposed partial demolition of the building would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of this part of the area".

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Tim Wiles, chairman of Henlow Parish Council, said after the decision: "We're very disappointed with this outcome. We believe that any decision on the future of the parish hall and any replacement facility should be made by the parishioners themselves. After all they are the people who pay for the upkeep of the buildings and who will be directly affected by these decisions.

"We've not yet had time to look in any detail at the reasons given for refusal this time, but so far we've been given different reasons every time. I understand this time the grounds for refusal was something to do with the glazing of some windows.

"If you didn't know better you might well think someone was desperately trying to find some small reason to refuse these applications, just so that this option can't be presented to our parishioners as a whole.

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