D-day for chapel

A SCHEME to convert a redundant north Northumberland church into a private home has hit opposition despite the backing of the parish council.

At tonight’s meeting of the county council’s north area planning committee, members are recommended to refuse to grant listed building consent for the changes to St Mary’s Church in Felton, despite the support of Felton Parish Council.

Planning permission was granted in 2010 to turn the church into a three-bedroom house before it was sold by an auction from its own pulpit in August last year.

A new application has had to be submitted due to a number of changes to the design. But the new plans for the Grade II-listed building are not acceptable in the eyes of the planning officer.

His report to members concludes: “It is officer opinion that the proposed number of rooflights and the location of such insertions impact negatively on the character and appearance of this historic Grade II-listed building.

“Furthermore, the proposed internal works would erode the sense of volume, detrimentally impact the ceiling and separate the visual elements that cumulatively create the architectural and historic interest within the church.”