Commissary Court of Canterbury; Walker Com Gen, December 1997
By way of two consolidated petitions, a faculty was sought for a substantial extension to a nineteenth-century Grade II listed church and a re-ordering of the interior to include the construction of a nave platform. Planning permission was granted despite a number of local objections. The DAC recommended the works subject to conditions. Of some 24 persons who lodged particulars of objections, 8 pursued them at the hearing. The commissary took into account all objections, including the views of a group styled 'The River Conservation Society', although he placed greatest weight upon the evidence of the parties opponent. The CCC regarded the scheme as 'sensitively handled and worthy of support'. The commissary was satisfied that additional seating capacity was necessary; that all reasonable alternatives had been explored and rejected; that disturbance to human remains would be kept to a minimum; that no criticism could be made of the PCC for lack of public consultation; that the overwhelming majority of worshippers supported the scheme; that the resultant loss of symmetry and relocation of stained glass windows would not be detrimental; that adequate funding was available; that the installation of the proposed platform would enhance the interior appearance of the building; and that it was unnecessary to consider the question of car parking since the matter must have been considered by the local planning authority. Applying what he characterised as the 'Bishopsgate Questions', the commissary was satisfied
(1) that the petitioners had proved necessity;
(2) that the proposed works would not adversely affect the character of the church as a building of special architectural and historic interest; and, even though it was not strictly necessary in the light of his previous findings,
(3) that he should exercise his discretion in favour of granting the faculty.
Further, as to partial demolition, he was satisfied that the requirements of the Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991, s 17, had been met. The facts were wholly different from those in Re St Michael and All Angels, Tettenhall Regis  Fam 44,  1 All ER 231. A faculty therefore issued, subject to detailed conditions.
(1998) 5 Ecc LJ 130