Permission Granted for New Area Office for the Diocese of Oxford
Planning permission has been granted for a new Diocese Area Office on a sensitive site in Theale. The site is adjacent to the Conservation Area and the Grade I listed Holy Trinity Church in addition to other Grade II structures and properties.
The Diocese proposed a contemporary curved building to blend into the site, which has significant tree cover. Bluestone Planning were commissioned to support and negotiate the application including providing 3D images to highlight how the building would successfully integrate with its surroundings.
The building is considered to have a significant benefit to the Holy Trinity Church and the wider Diocese area and has been well received by parishioners.
The public and statutory consultations highlight that the proposals were environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing. In particular Historic England stated that “the new building… appears to have been well considered and sensitively designed” and raised no objection to the proposals.
The proposals were called to Committee due to their significance including potential harm to heritage assets and trees. Considerable work was undertaken by The Diocese and Bluestone Planning to demonstrate how the proposals would be appropriate, which was acknowledged by Councillors who voted overwhelmingly in support.