Modern extension ruled out at traditional church

A three-storey extension to a grade II listed Victorian church in east London has been rejected after a ruling that it would harm its special interest.

The church was built of Kentish ragstone with Bath stone dressings. The inspector considered that a modern extension between the church tower and an aisle would destroy the symmetrical composition of this elevation. While accepting that the use of coated stainless steel or zinc would differentiate the extension from the existing church, she considered that its heavy lines, substantial areas of cladding and large windows would appear brutal and unrelated to the current style.

The inspector accepted that there was an urgent need to provide space for community meetings and that the scheme had been designed to make best use of internal space, heating efficiency, supervision and surveillance. She concluded, however, that there was a presumption in favour of preserving the church's special interest as a heritage asset of national importance.

Inspector: Christine Thorby; Hearing

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