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Victorian United Reformed Church, Whitfield, Dover, to be demolished after councillors' vote

A disused Victorian church is due to be knocked down and replaced by three houses.

The scheme was passed in a vote by councillors last night (Thursday).

Councillors have voted to replace this building with houses
Councillors have voted to replace this building with houses

It is for the former United Reformed Church in Chapel Road, Whitfield.

Dover District Council's planning committee heard that the chapel building itself was considered beyond repair and reuse.

For instance the replacement of roof slates with heavier tiles had put too much strain on the structure, causing cracks on the walls.

A planning officers' report had said that the structure is not a designated heritage asset, nor within a conservation area and is not on the local list of buildings having historic interest.

The building is to be replaced by a terrace of two-bedroomed houses but the site's burial ground will be left undisturbed.

Cllr Roger Walkden: Supported the application
Cllr Roger Walkden: Supported the application

A memorial plaque for fallen First World War heroes will also be moved out.

Councillors granted planning permission by six votes to four.

Those against the application included Cllr Edward Biggs who said: "The development looks quite intense over a relatively small plot."

But Cllr Roger Walkden, supporting the scheme, said: "The main considerations are whether to keep the church or not and about the plaque and burial ground. All these issues have been resolved. I move to approve."

The application includes six parking spaces for the development.

The remote meeting heard that the church was built in 1867 and the site has at least 11 headstones.

Burials had taken place between 1792 and 1977.

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