Building work ‘will ensure’ Haverhill church’s survival

The Old Independent Church in Haverhill will have a new entrance built on the side, wehre the rassed area is now, with the existing porch no longer used as an entrance. Picture by Joh Thomas
The Old Independent Church in Haverhill will have a new entrance built on the side, wehre the rassed area is now, with the existing porch no longer used as an entrance. Picture by Joh Thomas

The go ahead has been given for the 170-year-old meeting hall at Haverhill’s Old Independent Church to be changed into three flats, as have plans to create a new entrance to the main church building.

Opposition to the new entrance pavilion was voiced during St Edmundsbury Council’s development control committee meeting last Thursday (5), but the project got the go ahead with just one vote against.

One of the two entrance porches to the Grade II listed church will be closed off to allow the internal space to accommodate a kitchen and the new entrance built on the side of the church on a grassed area.

Borough and county councillor, Tony Brown, said: “Please leave the church in its original splendour as the architect and the church would have expected.”

The architect of the works, Cliff Patten, told the committee that the church would be financially unviable without the alterations and that the hall could not generate enough income to ‘properly manage and maintain’ the buildings.

Anna Hughes told the meeting that her home in Mount Road, which adjoins the church, would be overlooked and her family suffer a loss of privacy if the flats were built.

It was agreed to ensure the window looking out from the balcony that forms part of the flats scheme be glazed to maintain Mrs Hughes’ privacy.

Addressing the issue of the new entrance pavilion and the internal alterations, Cllr Dave Ray said: “It’s particularly the kitchen facilities that are going to be facilitated by this new entrance porch.

“What this will do is make this building more welcoming to the community.

“By getting better use it will generate more money to enable it to be preserved for use by future generations.”