Meeting to unveil Brundall church plans

A public meeting will be held at St Laurence Church in Brundall this week to show revised plans for a controversial �1m extension to the 13th century building.

An original application was withdrawn in November after an administrative error meant that the church had nobody to represent them in the Broadland District Council planning meeting.

It was recommended for refusal at the time by council officers, who said that the new building would dwarf the existing 13th-century church, but was supported by Brundall Parish Council.

Some residents in the village also made complaints about the scale of the plans, which would have doubled the capacity of the church and added a new car park.

Last year the congregation was asked to pray ahead of the planning decision and the church was to be open for prayer while the planning meeting took place.

But revised plans have now been submitted, which are currently under public consultation until January 10. The design includes 180 new seats, a new community area, kitchen, toilet block and meeting rooms. The existing medieval building would remain and become a side chapel.

An open day will be held at the church on Saturday from 10am to 3pm for people to see the plans and discuss any concerns they may have over the design.

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Church rector the Rev Dr Linnet Smith said: 'Saturday is just an attempt to give everybody an opportunity to see the plans.

'We took into account some of the objections from people who live close to the church.

'It's not enormously different, but it's different in ways that we hope will accommodate those who had worries about it.

'Over the past 50 years the church has stayed the same size and the population of Brundall has quadrupled,' said reverend Smith.

Over the past year there were 16 occasions when the church was filled to capacity.

It is thought that the expansion will cost between �750,000 and �1m to complete and fund-raising will begin if planning permission is granted.