PLANS to turn a ‘landmark’ chapel building in a Flintshire village into three two-bedroom apartments have been refused by the council.
Flintshire Council’s planning department has rejected change of use proposals for the redundant chapel house at Y Waen, Flint Mountain.
Grounds for refusal covered highways concerns and as the development was not earmarked to provide affordable housing, it was contrary to what is allowed to be built in that area of the county under Flintshire’s Local Development Plan.
A planning statement submitted with the application from Hawkesbury Developments made the case for the conversion, highlighting that the chapel has been out of use for five years after a decline in attendance.
“There has been a religious building on site since the 1600’s”, it said.
“The current building was extended in 1893 to its present size together with the chapel house. The chapel was in use until, with dwindling congregation, services were ceased five years ago and the building is now redundant.”
According to the plans, the existing chapel house would have been retained but refurbished. The main chapel building would have been re-planned to create three two-bedroom flats, using the double height of the chapel to develop two storeys.
While the external appearance would have been untouched, internally the existing rooms were to be integrated into residential use such as a utility room, cloakrooms and home offices.
Parking for four cars was also mooted as part of the proposals.
The planning statement added: “The proposed development is an appropriate use for this redundant building.
“As a landmark building in the village, its location and visual impact when viewed on entering the village will remain.”
But the council has refused permission for the development, with a planning officer’s report highlighting that the proposed change of use was not intended to be for affordable housing and it was not an exception scheme for affordable housing.
The report states: “The principle of the proposal is not supported in planning policy and due to further amendments required to the highway proposals to allow on-site parking provision, it is considered that there would be an adverse effect on the highway.
“In addition, insufficient information had been provided to show the condition and features of the inside of the building, therefore it has been difficult to assess the full impact on the character and appearance of the inside of the building. The application is therefore recommended for refusal.”
The application was refused in a delegated decision signed off by the council’s chief planning officer Andrew Farrow.