Drayton church bid set for green light

Plans to build a church on the site of a former Norwich hospital could be approved early next year if planning officers agree to the finer details of the application.

Plans for a �6m church, with a capacity of more than 1,000 on the site of the former David Rice Hospital in Drayton High Road, were previously put forward following the fire which destroyed the Mount Zion Family Life Centre in Heartsease in February 2006.

Those plans were met with wide-scale opposition from the public, leading to a revised application which was turned down by Broadland District Council earlier this year.

But now trustees at the Lind Trust, which is behind the plans, said they were looking to go ahead with building a smaller church on the site after being given planning permission in 2008.

Les Brown, planning consultant and trustee of the Lind Trust, said that a reserved matters application had been submitted to the council regarding the installation of a building to replace the former hospital and for change of use of the site.

He said: 'The application covers the siting of the building, the design, proposed materials and landscaping.'

The plans include an auditorium, accommodation for church use, space for a kitchen, cafe, leisure space and administration offices as well as car parking.

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Lind trustee Graham Dacre, pictured, on behalf of tlc, today's lifestyle church, said: 'This should not be controversial. This is purely a reserved matters application that covers the detail of what's already been approved.

'This is not a new application and has been submitted following the granting of planning permission of a 2,020 sq m facility in 2008.

'A lot of people will think it's a revision of the larger one, its not. It's just the smaller one.'

A spokesman for Broadland District Council said: 'Outline permission for a church was granted in 2008 and a subsequent application for a larger complex turned down this year. A 'reserved matters' application has now been received. This is a detailed application within the terms of the outline permission which was granted in 2008. A decision on this is due by February 22.'

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