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Church given green light to stay in its Aston home

Planning | Blog

A Birmingham church can continue operating in its existing home after retrospective plans were approved – following support by planning and socio-economic experts at Marrons.

Chroma Church Birmingham purchased 76 Church Road, in Aston, in August 2021 after the pandemic led to increased demand for its services.

The two-storey building, which was built in the 1980s, was a nightclub and restaurant for nearly three decades before becoming an industrial unit for Mossvale Construction in 2018.

Birmingham City Council has approved a retrospective planning permission to change the use of the building to a place of worship, as well as granted the green light for the church to refurbish the property into an innovative and sustainable development.

Reverend David McNeil, senior leader and trustee at Chroma Church Birmingham, said: “We are truly delighted and relieved to have secured retrospective planning permission. We are extremely thankful to the team at Marrons for their input and persistence in ensuring we can continue operating in our current, much-loved home in Aston.

Our journey towards purchasing the building followed a widening of our established church community’s vision to both enhance the worship experience of our growing, city-wide congregation and provide effective ministry to reach the local area with a variety of community services.

There is a high need for social provision for young families, lone parents and the elderly to access community services in the area. We are therefore looking forward to redeveloping 76 Church Road to cater for a wide-range of uses to engage and support our local community.”

Chroma Church Birmingham hosts weekly Sunday worship services, which are attended by around 175 people, as well as youth and community events, children’s activities and training courses.

Works will now begin to upgrade the property with sustainable cladding, as well as the addition of a community hub and café, which will welcome all faiths. New stands for 20 cycles, two motorcycle spaces and four electric vehicle charging points will also be installed.

Sachin Parmar, planning director at Marrons, led the proposals and submitted the planning application on Chroma Church Birmingham’s behalf. He said: “The church has already embedded itself within the local community, so we were dedicated to ensuring it could continue providing its growing list of vital support services.

We are thrilled retrospective planning permission has been granted that will ensure Chroma Church Birmingham can continue operating – helping to support economic growth and making a big difference to everyday life for the local community.

Furthermore, the church can now start its work refurbishing the property, which will enrich the area by uplifting a tired building and transforming it into a local, well-designed and sustainable landmark.

In its planning application, socio-economic analysis by Marrons estimates that the church injects a £2.6 million into the local economy each year through its economic and social value activities.

Simon Macklen, director of economics at Marrons, said: “Our research also found that there are significant deprivation issues within the local area, which negatively impact residents’ health, employment and social isolation. Community assets such as Chroma Church Birmingham assist greatly in improving people’s quality of life.

Published: 27th March 2023
Area: Planning

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