Dozens of residents in an area of Derby have lodged objections to plans from a church to bulldoze a scout hut to make way for new homes.
The Parochial Church Council of St Edmund (Allenton and Shelton Lock) has applied to Derby City Council to pull down the building, which is to the rear of St Edmund’s Parish Church, in Sinfin Avenue, Shelton Lock.
In its place, it is seeking permission for six new homes on land currently occupied by the scout hut and part of the churchyard. If it gets permission, cash raised from the sale of the land to a developer would be used to create new community facilities at the church.
The scout hut to the rear of St Edmund’s Parish Church
The hut was originally installed on the site in 1962 on land leased from the church for a peppercorn rent by the scout groups, which includes Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Cubs, Guides and Scouts.
The current lease ran out at the end of last year – and according to the planning documents one of the key terms of the agreement is that the hut would be removed at the conclusion of the lease.
In a statement from the church, submitted as part of the planning documents , it said: “The land is St Edmund’s only financial asset and, as a charity, it needs to maximise the asset in order to carry out major improvements to the church premises.
The Scout hut is located behind the church
“These are intended to ensure that the church has a viable on-going and widening community use.”
If given the go-ahead, the scheme would raise funds for improvements to the church, including an extension that would include a large hall, toilets and storage. Kitchen facilities would also be upgraded, serving a cafe area.
The plans state: “It is the desire of the Parochial Church Council to develop St Edmund’s as a multi-use community centre.
“The church will be extended and internally partitioned and developed to provide a range of facilities where the pre-school and other regular users will function in more dedicated activity spaces.
As well as the homes a new access road would be created
“Having discussed the needs of the uniformed organisations with them we have established that the new premises will provide the necessary replacement accommodation for the Rainbows, Brownies, Beavers, Cubs, Guides and Scouts.
“The building programme will be phased so that the new extension will be ready for them to move into without any inconvenience to their activities.
“This is subject to the organisations accepting a rent which reflects the running costs of the extension and the facilities within the church which they use and their status as a ‘not for profit’ community organisation.”
But despite the church offering the scout groups space in the new extension, around 26 objections have so far been lodged with the city council from local residents, some of whom are parents of children who are members of the groups who use the hut.
Some parents believe that the new facilities will not be big enough
Some of those objectors believe that the replacement accommodation would not be big enough.
One of the objectors, Emily Williams wrote: “St Edmund’s hut is a fantastic resource for the local community that has been well maintained and cared for over many years.
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“The church’s hut replacement would not allow all of the beneficial activities to continue due to its limited size.”
Another objector, Richard Dudley wrote: “I have great memories of using this hut when I was in Cubs and have two girls using it for Guides now and young son who is about to join Beavers.
“It would a great loss to the local community as there is nothing else in Shelton Lock for our young children. Please rethink the plans to remove this hut from our community.”
The proposal will be discussed by the planning committee at a future date.
Source: Derby Telegraph