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Plans to turn disused St Martin of Tours Church, in Lydd, into five homes

Unmaintained land surrounding an historic church could be transformed for housing.

A planning application has been submitted to build five homes at the back of disused St Martin of Tours Church, in Lydd High Street, on Romney Marsh.

St Martin of Tours, pictured in 2018
St Martin of Tours, pictured in 2018

The Roman Catholic church, which was first erected in 1895 but rebuilt in 1931 in a gothic-style, closed in 2017.

It was then put on the market for £350,000.

Now Mead Developments have unveiled plans to create the new homes to the rear of the church, which is currently neglected and overgrown.

The application says it will provide "much needed" housing in the area.

The "mews-type" development, 1,320 sqm in size, will include four four-bed houses and one three-bed house.

There are plans to build five new homes
There are plans to build five new homes

The four-bed homes will be three-storey and arranged in two pairs of semis, with dormers and rooms in the roof. The three-bed house will be two-storey.

A new access road will lead to the site from the High Street and 10 car parking spaces will also be included.

Planning documents reveal that "careful consideration" has been given so that the homes are not overlooked and that their creation will "not be detrimental but beneficial to the area".

The church is to be left untouched.

The literature states: "Allowing the rear of the site to be used for housing will integrate it into the surrounding area and provide much needed housing.

"The church itself is considered a non designated heritage asset and will not be subject to this application, remaining as existing as it provides a valuable contribution to the street scene and character of the area."

The application has yet to receive any objections, but a Kent County Council officer has warned that a programme of archaeologically works will need to be carried out before work starts in case the scheme "impacts remains of archaeological interest".

Last year, former Lydd Town councillor Michael Walsh hit out at the Catholic Church for closing St Martin of Tours Church and putting it on the market.

He started attending the Methodist Church as the closure left him no where to practice his faith.

A decision on the application is due in the next few months.

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