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Planning permission secured for Kingswood’s Masters Church site

Planning Consultancy   •   Development Viability

Alder King Planning Consultants have secured planning permission for Crossman Homes’ residential redevelopment of the derelict Masters Church site in Kingswood, South Gloucestershire.

The scheme allows the redevelopment of the Grade II listed Masters Church into 19 one-bedroom apartments and the change of use of its cemetery to a public park. The planning permission also includes the erection of a terrace of three new build houses adjacent to the Chapel House as enabling development to cross-subsidise the scheme.

An added complication to the scheme was the adjoining Grade I listed Whitfield Tabernacle which, according to Historic England, is one of the most at risk buildings in the country.

Despite the complexities of the site, Alder King successfully presented the necessary viability assessment to support the enabling case, and demonstrated to South Gloucestershire Council that the benefits of the scheme would outweigh any harm to heritage assets. In negotiating the planning permission, Alder King also successfully avoided the imposition of both CIL and s106 financial contributions.

Matt Halstead, partner in Alder King’s planning team, commented: “This project involving our viability and planning teams is a great example of our multi-disciplinary approach to complex planning cases and has produced a great result for Crossman Homes and the Kingswood community, giving this site a new future.”

The Whitfield Tabernacle was erected in 1741 at the request of George Whitfield who donated money for the project when he left to preach in America. Whitfield was a contemporary of Charles and John Wesley at Oxford and together with John Cennick of Bristol were largely responsible for establishing Methodism as a separate church of which Wesleyan Methodism was the largest element. Meetings at The Tabernacle became so popular that the building was extended in 1802, and 1851, and in 1851 a new larger church – the Masters Church designed by Henry Masters, a local builder and architect, was erected in 1851 on the west side of the site.  The Tabernacle was transferred to local charity the Whitfield Tabernacle Trust and does not form part of the Crossman scheme.

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