Cllr. Jacqueline O'Quinn

BH2022/02810 – St Agnes Church, Newtown Road


25th October 2022:

Installation of high level ventilation grilles to gable ends, handrail to parapet wall of roof and external up/down lighting to south elevation at second floor. (Retrospective)

I am objecting to this application. As I live locally, I was able to watch builders employed by the Natural Fit Club put into place a balcony area on the 1st floor which fronted onto Newtown Road. At first the door opening was put in place and then a type of artificial hedging was put up on the parapet edge. Light fittings and wires then went up and then they laid the floor for the balcony. None of these additions were given permission in the original planning permission but they had obviously been planned for by Natural Fit Club at that time – they just knew they wouldn’t get the application passed if they included a balcony but banked on getting retrospective permission. Metal bars were eventually placed around the balcony area as it was quite dangerous before with only the artificial hedging there. The whole balcony construction, lights, hedging, bars etc. is not particularly pleasing aesthetically and not in keeping with the character of the building, which is a shame as St Agnes is a beautiful old church. At least the hedging has since been removed as it was a real eyesore and different bars have been put in place.


There is considerable dismay from nearby residents at the air vent that has been knocked through and which is so close to their properties and precludes them from being able to enjoy their gardens – so a definite loss of private amenity. I understand that the noise has been toned down a bit but is still major nuisance to residents whose gardens are at the back of St Agnes Church and the noise goes on from 7am-9om. There has been an attempt to improve the lighting but it is still very intrusive and noticeable for both the residents and the area as a whole.


The balcony area itself is quite large and could accommodate a number of people. I understand that a Licensing officer has visited the property and been told that the Club intend to have tables and chairs on the balcony and will serve people drinks and foods.