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Support for church hall development

Old Independent Church in Haverhill
Old Independent Church in Haverhill

Plans to convert an historic church hall into flats have received the support of the town council.

Plans to turn the meeting hall of the Old Independent United Reform Church in Haverhill’s Hamlet Road into flats were initially met with concerns over retention of the building’s heritage.

A revised application was submitted to the town council with fewer residential units on site.

It is thought that, without the money generated by the proposed residences, the church itself may fall into disrepair due to lack of income.

Three residential units are planned for the church’s meeting hall, which is currently under used.

Councillor Ernie Goody said: “The church doesn’t have any funding.

“They need to get the conversion work going to get the funds they need for facilities and to fund disabled access.

“If the church is to continue, they really need planning permission.”

English Heritage will not object to the development. It is understood that the proposed change of the building’s use will be supported if it helps the church as a whole to be able to continue to function and provide services for its parishioners.

The church building itself will continue to be used as a place of worship.

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