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Neighbours of Breakthru Church, Crown Street: 'Help us save building from demolition'

PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 November 2013

Protesters gathered outside the church on Saturday

Protesters gathered outside the church on Saturday

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Neighbours of a 168-year-old church in Crown Street are appealing for help in saving it from demolition - and halting the building of a four-storey tower block in its place that they say will threaten their homes.

The owners of Breakthru Church have applied to Brentwood Council for permission to knock down the building, which has stood since 1845, and put up flats.

At a meeting on Saturday at the Spiritualist Church opposite the site, neighbours agreed they wanted to preserve the historic building – and expressed fears construction works might put their homes at risk.

“When we first heard about the redevelopment of this site we urged the Breakthru Church and developers ProVision to consider a development incorporating the renovation of the existing 1845 Weslyan Chapel,” said Jennifer Daly, who lives next to the church in Primrose Hill. “We would still very much like to preserve it.”

She added: “We are actually scared for our foundations.”

As well as concern for her own home, Jennifer said the development was a “wider issue for the residents of Brentwood regarding the changing face of their town”.

She said: “Just look at how Crown Street alone is changing.”

Brentwood South Labour councillor Julie Morrissey, who is backing the protesters, told the Recorder: “This church has significant historical context and should not be demolished for yet more yuppie flats.

“Aside from the church, the plan shows the demolition of the extremely visually attractive Victorian house attached to the church. This is of real concern. To demolish it to build high will be simply horrible.

“These plans show maximum development. It’s cynical and greedy.”

Breakthru Church and ProVision had not responded to a requests for comment as the Recorder went to press.

Residents have set up an action group – the Campaign for Sensible Development – and are appealing for anyone with knowledge of the church’s history that could help save it.

If you can help, e-mail sensibledevelopment@hotmail.co.uk or call 07931 749 036.

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