PARISH CENTRE REDEVELOPMENT
We are redeveloping our Parish Centre!
Here you will find the latest updates on our progress, as well as some FAQs and the opportunity to sign up to keep up to date with our news.
Thank you for your interest in this project!
Update - September 2020
We are aware it has been many months since our last update and a lot has happened in the world! However, there has been little to provide update on prior to this point. We took on board the comments back from the formal consultation on the plans we submitted to the Local Authority in January this year, and we also noted the feedback in the many comments from the public on the planning portal. The main issues we needed to review were:
Parking numbers and concerns about site access, and impact of traffic on local streets;
Boundary treatment and security issues;
Site surface water drainage.
Our design team worked hard during the summer and we re-submitted further information in early-August. Due to some internal delays with the Planning Authority, Chiltern & South Bucks Council have only now sent our plans out for another round of consultation. You can view them as 11th August dated entries by clicking here.
St Leonard’s welcome your comments and hope that the changes fully address the issues raised. The ways these changes meet comments raised are explained in detail in our Planning Consultant’s covering letter on the portal (Fuller Long letter to Melanie Beech dated 6th August 2020). Public comments are open on the planning portal up until 8th October.
We are waiting to hear from our Planning Officer about a date for the application being determined at Planning Committee, but we expect it will not make October – more likely November.
Thanks for your patience and we hope things will move forward during October now that the process is moving again with the local authority.
The validated planning application is now available online here.
Through the planning portal facility you are able to view all the submitted plans and supporting information and lodge your own comments (you need to register online for this facility first – just follow the council website instructions under the ‘Comments’ tab).
St Leonard’s are excited to have reached this stage of the design and look forward to the determination of this application after all the creative thought, hard work and careful consideration that has been put into the project to date.
We highlight the words in the submitted Planning Report from our planning consultant Fuller Long, which provides a helpful summary:
“The proposal will create a much-needed Parish Centre that will benefit both the Church and the local community. The design team recognise the sensitive nature of the site and have worked hard to achieve an innovative design that allows flexibility for its use.
The principle of the development is acceptable, and the detailed design of both the Parish Centre and dwellings ensures that the buildings will complement the woodland setting of the site and not harm the significance of either the listed buildings or Conservation Area, or neighbouring amenity. The main hall is designed to house 275 visitors and much work has been undertaken to ensure there is sufficient parking to meet both Church and community related activities at the site.
The proposed development is considered to comply with the policy objectives set out in the Local Plan and the NPPF. The accompanying reports and plans demonstrate the proposals compliance with policy in further detail and sets out the justification of the benefits of the development. It is therefore respectfully requested that planning permission be granted.”
Thank you for all your interest and assistance in the design process so far.
We are grateful for the level of local interest in our project and are keeping a list of FAQs in response to the main themes and issues being raised. These are being updated periodically as we receive further feedback.
Please click here for a list of FAQs.
Click here to see the Chesham Bois Parish Council statement as to their role in the consultation process.
Key Features of the Proposed Development
The design includes the following:
High quality design respectful of the heritage and woodland - many have stated how beautiful the design is and how it reflects its setting
Main hall accommodating up to 275 people
Offices for St Leonard's Church and Chesham Bois Parish Council, including meeting rooms for varied uses
Self-contained Day Nursery and garden space, modernising and improving facilities for Maryland
Additional multi-function hall
Replacement Rectory (according to Diocesan requirements) and a staff home
Sufficient woodland-style parking on site for everyday use, accessed via Glebe Way
Prayer, reflection and outside spaces
Dynamic green roof and other environmental features
The redevelopment will use existing Church-owned land and the project has the support of the Diocese of Oxford. The new Parish Centre will serve the ongoing and future needs of the Church and local community.
The 800 year old Church Building on High Bois Lane will continue to be used for services on Sundays and all it's other current varied uses.
If you would like to receive periodic e-mail updates, bulletins and information about events please subscribe to our mailing list.
If you would like to contact us with questions or comments about our Parish Centre redevelopment project, please use the following dedicated email address:
Please click here to see our Vision Statement for the project.
Bishop Steven has also given us a clear vision in the Diocese of Oxford: ‘a vision to guide us to become more Christ like: contemplative, compassionate and courageous as we serve our fragmented world.’ We believe that our Parish Centre Site Redevelopment project enables us to engage with both the diocesan and our parish vision.
As you can see from our mission & vision statements and the Diocesan strapline above we are called to be more Christ-like, doing the ministry of Jesus the way he modelled to us. All that we do together is grounded in our identity in Christ and arises from His call to us in His Word and by His Spirit. This community enhancing project is exciting, and whilst challenging enables us to fulfil the long-held vision to bless and serve our parish. We hope the information on this page will help you see the intentions of this project, the facts about it and the opportunities it will give to the whole community.