Plans for a £6m community complex surrounding an already approved proposal for a new 800-seat evangelical church on the outskirts of Norwich
have been turned down by local politicians.
Yesterday (December 8), councillors at Broadland District Council rejected updated proposals for a £6m complex on the site of the former David Rice Hospital in Drayton put forward by Christian businessman Graham Dacre and the Lind Trust.
There had been objections about its size and concerns about traffic, but planners had recommended it for approval.
Graham says he is now considering his options after his dream for a church and community complex, to be named TLC and which would include a café, crèche, 800-seat auditorium, classrooms and meeting rooms, exhibition areas and parking for 275 cars, were rejected.
Planning permission already exists for an 800-seat auditorium on the site and it is the additional facilities which have now been turned down.
Speaking to Network Norfolk, Graham said: “It was both a surprise and a disappointment not to receive the permission for additional facilities such as Sunday School and other amenities.
“We already have permission to build an 800-seater auditorium and we are now perhaps reluctant to appeal the decision. Clearly we will need to pray into the situation and have appreciated all the support we have received over recent weeks.
“We will look to see what could be achieved using the refurbishment of the facilities at Drayton Hall
, which is already underway and will undoubtedly provide well for the early days of TLC, and the 800-seat auditorium plan which is already approved.
“We are not looking for a mega-church. We believe in a local church with a mega wonderful God.”