PLANS to bulldoze a church hall to make way for new housing have been recommended for approval.
Applicant Keith Milner has applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council for permission to build 17 homes on St John’s Church Hall site, in Rolleston Road, Horninglow.
Mr Milner, who has had three previous planning applications turned down, intends to demolish the derelict hall, which is subject to vandalism.
Initially, plans were put forward by church leaders to demolish the hall and rebuild a new £1.5 million community facility in the graveyard, on top of thousands of graves.
The move sparked outrage in the community and led to a year-long battle between campaigners and church bosses.
The controversial saga, which saw thousands of people sign a petition opposing the plans, with letters even sent to the Prime Minister and the Queen, finally came to an end when church chiefs purchased The Red Lion pub, in Horninglow Road North, in May. The pub will now be transformed into the new church hall.
If the latest plans are given the green light, the existing church hall area would be replaced by affordable houses, including a block of terraced bungalows as well as a mixture of detached and semidetached homes and parking spaces for 33 cars.
Vehicular access to the site would be relocated from Rolleston Road to Church View. The access road would take the form of a cul-de-sac, with houses fronting the road.
Off-road car parking would also be provided for all of the homes, either at the front or side of the properties.
As part of the plans the developer will contribute £44,124 towards the provision of four primary school places and £9,000 towards upgrading off-site open space, under a Section 106 agreement.
Planning officer Jim Malkin has recommended that the plans are passed when are they formally put forward for discussion at the borough council’s planning committee meeting on Monday.