Worcester Consistory Court: Mynors Ch, June 2003
St Laurence, Alvechurch is a grade II* listed building dating from the 12th century but extensively rebuilt by Butterfield in the 1860’s. The proposal was to build an extension being a two-storey structure boat shaped in plan attached at ground floor level. The extension would be funded by the sale for residential development of a plot of land to the southeast of the church. The PCC, DAC, CCC, English Heritage, The Victorian Society, SPAB and the Ancient Monuments Society all warmly recommended the plan. Bromsgrove District Council granted planning permission. There were local objectors who felt, inter alia, that the extension should not be attached to the church, was too big, had used a church resource (the plot of land) incorrectly and had been granted without sufficient local enquiry. The chancellor considered the Bishopsgate questions and went on to consider the approach of a chancellor when planning permission has been granted. The chancellor took the view that the chancellors in re St James, Stalmine and re St Mary’s King’s Worthy were ad idem, adding that any decision to allow a consistory court to reconsider matters decided by a planning authority would be to grant a right of appeal to those dissatisfied by that decision not permitted by Parliament. He excepted the occasions when a church had become a listed building post planning permission or where the court had to rule upon the interior of a new extension or where there were details of the way in which a new building was to join to an old one. The chancellor granted the faculty.
The difference in opinion between chancellors as to the status of planning permission which was discussed in a note to Re All Saints, Hordle (2003) 7 Ecc LJ 238 would seem to be more apparent than real.
(2004) 7 Ecc LJ 367-368