The look of a village church could be changing with plans to make it more accessible to modern community use.
The managing trustees of the East Peckham Methodist Church have submitted an application to Tonbridge and Malling council seeking permission to partly demolish one of the rooms, known as “hall 1” and to create in its place an outside dementia courtyard.
The perimeter walls of the hall would be left at a low level to retain the historic outline of the building.
However, it does mean that some stone memorial plaques in the hall would be lost, so instead the Methodists plan to remove the plaques and re-locate them further inside the building.
The side wall of “hall 2” will now become an exterior wall, and it will receive added glazing to create a view across the courtyard.
Importantly, the existing corrugated asbestos concrete roof over the Curran Hall at the rear of the building will be carefully removed and replaced with modern roofing.
There will be no additional parking.
There are also plans to create a new main entrance to the building, into what is currently known as the Primary Room.
Outside paving will be adjusted to provide a ramp for the disabled.
The trustees hope that the changes will enable the building to continue to play a key role in the life of the village comnunity.
It is a less ambitious project than the trustees had in mind three years ago, when they obtained planning permission to demolish the church and halls altogether and to create a new modern community centre.
That dream has fallen by the wayside due to a lack of funding.
Details of the scheme can be viewed here.
Look for application 23/01818.