Extension to listed Eastbourne church planned

All Souls Church, Eastbourne. 30/1/13 ENGSUS00120130130120402
All Souls Church, Eastbourne. 30/1/13 ENGSUS00120130130120402

Proposals to build an extension to a listed Eastbourne church have won the support of town planning advisors.

At a meeting on Tuesday (April 2), Eastbourne Borough Council’s Conservation Area Advisory Group considered proposals for an extension to the Grade II* listed All Souls Church building in Susans Road.

The committee heard church leaders had applied for the extension as its congregation has increased significantly in recent years, putting pressure on its existing facilities.

The application is supported by Historic England, which had objected to a previous scheme for a stand-alone toilet building within the church grounds.

In a letter seen by the committee, a spokesman for Historic England said: “The amended scheme proposes to locate toilet facilities within a discreet, well considered and sensitively designed extension to the north side of the church.

“This new arrangement addresses our previous concerns as it will have a minimal impact on the church’s architectural interest and significance.

“We are content the proposed extension to the north side of the church is the least harmful and practical way of providing the required facilities and therefore broadly content with the reordering scheme in its current form.”

Historic England also described the preservation of existing building  – built in 1882 – as being ‘particularly important’ due to its rarity as an example of ‘an Anglican Church in the Byzantine revival style’.

While the committee deferred to the advice put forward by Historic England, some concerns were raised over the visual design of the extension.

Nicholas Howell, a member of the Eastbourne Society who sits a non-voting member of the group, said: “Sometimes trying to replicate what is already there doesn’t work, it becomes like a pastiche.

“I just want to see something much more contemporary, with glass and steel there would be a contrast. They are not going to find a match for those beautiful red bricks.”

Concerns were also raised about some of the materials to be used in the extension, but officers said all had been supported by Historic England and would be enforced by planning conditions.

Despite these concerns the committee resolved not to object to the proposals.

For further details of the application see reference 190129 on the Eastbourne Borough Council website.