Posted on | by Pat Mills
Community Regeneration Scheme Approved for Hope Church in Sevenoaks
We are proud to share that our project with Hope Church in Sevenoaks has been granted planning permission. Our design retains and extends the Church’s existing home on Mill Lane, and provides a fantastic new venue for their growing community work and services.
We began working with Hope Church following a competitive interview in 2018. The Church had aspirational plans to expand their services to meet the growing need of their congregation, as well a desire to offer greater community facilities and support.
The existing Church building is rather unusual, being the result of a light industrial building conversion some ten years ago. This presented our team with both some interesting challenges and exciting design opportunities.
The vision of the Church was to increase their capacity, to enable the congregation to be accommodated more comfortably, and to widen the range of services that could be provided. As part of our site appraisals we identified that whilst providing the core need of additional floor area, it would also be possible to enhance the visual appearance of the existing building. This would present a more welcoming environment for the Church and congregation, and would encourage visitors to stay longer.
Functional extensions of the main Church space provided the core accommodation required, but an entirely new face on its street frontage providing a new visual identity for the Church. This space also doubled as an opportunity to allow greater public interaction within an open plan mixed-use setting.
As a key consideration in our design process we are always conscious of community impact, so we were keen to instigate a community-led approach to resolving local technical matters such as car parking and transportation. This culminated in a detailed Travel Plan that proposed off-site car parking and a shuttle bus service, which received support from both the local community and planning authorities.
Now that we have helped Hope Church with a positively designed scheme and successful planning outcome, we are excited to hear that they are now able to begin fundraising to get their project out of the ground within the next year.