Locks Heath Free Church to have second try for £4m extension

Taxpayers forking out millions in legal costs

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CHURCH leaders are set to have another attempt at getting a £4m extension with a 500-seat auditorium approved after a first attempt was rejected by planners.

Locks Heath Free Church is getting ready to submit a new planning application for the site on Hunts Pond Road in Titchfield Common.

The original plan was rejected unanimously by Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee in July on the grounds that it would be a commercial conference centre rather than for serving the local community.

After the rejection senior pastor Mark Madavan had vowed to appeal as the church had already spent £120,000 on the scheme.

Mr Madavan has now said: ‘We’ve listened to what they’ve said and we want to work with our community. We’re planning to tweak our plans and resubmit.

‘We’re going to make it very clear that we’re a church and not a conference facility.

‘We want to address the three issues they raised on the use, the car parking and whether it is appropriate for our area.’

The original plans split locals with 48 letters and a 242-name petition objecting to the plans were sent to the council. But 323 letters were also sent in support.