Controversial City Life Church expansion plans in Portsmouth are turned down by City Council

Church leaders had hoped to build two extensions to City Life Church in Tanger Road, Copnor, which they said would improve its facilities and make it more accessible. But Portsmouth City Council’s planning committee backed concerns raised by people living nearby and voted to reject the scheme.

City Council leader Councilor Gerald Vernon-Jackson proposed a denial due to the impact of parking on residents and criticized the design of the proposed new west wall, saying it was “very poor”.

What City Life Church in Tanger Road, Portsmouth would have looked like if its extension plans had been approved

“It will look like a huge white wall,” he said. “We know how to make darkened glass so we can let the light in.”

Thirty-nine people had opposed the scheme while 32 wrote to the council supporting the scheme, saying the church was being “unfairly scapegoated” for parking issues.

The designs for the extensions, which would have allowed it to build a café and increase the size of its rooms, were revised earlier this year in a bid to address concerns – reducing the scale of the proposed café and altering the entrance main building – but advisers said the changes had not done enough to address potential issues.

Other concerns included more serious parking issues in the area and noise issues when the church holds services.

Agenda papers ahead of the meeting saw council officers recommend that the application be approved.

About James K. Bonnette

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