Homes conversion approved for historic High Peak church

Holy Trinity Church in Peak Dale
Holy Trinity Church in Peak Dale

A redundant village church is to be given a new lease of life after plans were approved to covert it for housing.

High Peak Borough Council has rubber-stamped a planning application to convert and extend the vacant Holy Trinity Church in Peak Dale to create five new homes.

The church on School Road, which first opened in 1886 as Upper End Mission Church, held its final service in 2003 before being closed on health and safety grounds.

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Approving its conversion into a mixture of two, three and four-bedroom residential properties, the council said the principle of development was deemed acceptable.

"A use for the building is highly desirable in the interests of the heritage value of the area and its character and appearance," a planning officer's report stated.

"The further enlargement of the building is not desirable in the interests of its historic character but the scheme needs to be viable in order to work and the social and economic benefits of the scheme, together with the environmental benefits of safeguarding a heritage asset, would outweigh the harms caused to the building by some aspects of the conversion design.

"There is a robust landscaping and planting scheme and adequate ecology measures to compensate for the loss of some of the mature trees."

Previous plans included a sixth, newly-built dwelling to the west of the church, but this has since been removed.

Eleven on-site parking spaces are proposed for residents.

Wormhill & Green Fairfield Parish Council previously objected to the development on the grounds of overdevelopment and inappropriate development of the site.

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Some residents also raised concerns over future access to the graveyard at the rear of the site, however the council said a new path was proposed and conditions would be imposed to ensure it was adequate for all types of users.

The creation of the new graveyard access would also see the removal of four mature trees. However the planning officer's report added: "Twice as many trees would be planted as those removed and the type, number and siting of these is deemed to be sufficient compensation in order to protect the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area."

The application was approved by the council using delegated powers.