Brownsover Surgery set to be converted to a church - but there are worries over parking
The plans to transform Brownsover Surgery were approved at this week’s (December 9) planning committee of Rugby Borough Council even though an objection from a neighbour pointed out that the decision would mean three places of worship within 100 metres of each other.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church is behind the application for a change of use of the building in Bow Fell which has been empty since the surgery closed in 2016.
The approved plan will also see the building extended and a new six-space car park created.
A report considered by councillors explained that services would take place on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evening and that the church comprised around 40 members.
It added: “The footprint of the building is proposed to be altered from its existing irregular shape to a simpler form. The larger front two storey element of the building will comprise of the ancillary facilities to the church and its primary entrance. The rear element would comprise the service area denoted as an auditorium on the provided floor plans with 51 seats.”
And in conclusion, the report added: “The proposal does not represent conflict with adopted policies contained within the Local Plan. It would bring an otherwise vacant building back into reuse.
"Whilst some informal open space would be lost, the proposal would enhance the character of the area through not only its reuse but from the alteration and extensions to the existing building.”
Cllr Belinda Garcia (Con, Revel and Binley Woods) proposed that the plans for the 1980s surgery be approved.
She said: “I know that building quite well and I’ve thought on many occasions what an eyesore it is now so I am absolutely thrilled to move this.
But there were words of caution from Cllr Barbara Brown (Lab, New Bilton) who said: “It looks like a good piece of work in terms of the building but we need an assurance that accessibility will be addressed pretty sharpish.
“I would like to know how this fits in with the development plans for the area in which it sits especially in relation to people who have disabilities. There is a real access issue because the provision for car parking is pretty dire.”
Key objections from neighbours also related to lack of parking and the potential increase in traffic in the area.