Facebook/Bowthorpe Road Chinese Methodist Church

Church could be forced by council to demolish new £920,000 hall

Wed 26 Jun 2019
By Eno Adeogun

Norwich City Council has proceeded with legal action against a church to force it to tear down a new £920,000 hall funded by the congregation.

Bowthorpe Road Chinese Methodist Church were served an enforcement notice after its new extension was built 4.5m closer to homes than it should have been.

Catherine Hutton, superintendent minister for the Norwich Methodist Circuit, told Eastern Daily press: "We noticed there is a distinct lack of community buildings in the area, and the hall was erected to fill that gap while also providing a place of worship.

 

"It will be heartbreaking if we have to take it down. It will be a real loss to the community and the church as we have not yet been able to realise its potential."

The church, which has a regular congregation of 160 people, has appealed the notice but could be required to demolish the building if it is unsuccessful.

The council gave the church planning permission in 2016 to demolish the former church hall and build a new one on the site.

However, an enforcement investigation began after neighbours noticed the distance between the hall and its boundary was not correct.

Facebook/Bowthorpe Road Chinese Methodist Church

 

The church went on to make a new application seeking permission for where the hall had been built but this was turned down by the council's planning committee.

The city council has stated that the building is "considered dangerous".

Edmond Tsui, the church's pastor said the congregation raised £300,000 for the hall, while the rest was funded through charity donations.

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