Plans unveiled for new modern hall at Christchurch Priory

From left, Jennie Schillig of architects Columba Cook, parish development manager Mike Beams and Cliff Lane of Savills look at plans for a new hall at Christchurch Priory

From left, Jennie Schillig of architects Columba Cook, parish development manager Mike Beams and Cliff Lane of Savills look at plans for a new hall at Christchurch Priory

First published in News by

NEW plans for a modern hall at the Priory in Christchurch have been unveiled to residents and parishioners.

A public consultation event on Monday for phase two of the new visitor centre was held at the historic church in Christchurch town centre, with more than 100 people turning out.

The first parts of the redevelopment are already under way in Priory House with new parish offices under construction in the Grade II listed building, as well as a re-located gift shop, refurbished toilets and increased catering facilities. This is due for completion in March.

The latest proposals include plans for a new modern hall at the back of Priory House with a glass front as well as a new museum and toilets in Priory House. To fund the project, the existing Priory Hall in Princess Hall would be sold for housing.

Mike Beams, parish development manager, said the reaction from the public was “generally positive”.

“There was quite a lot of reaction from the neighbours of Priory Hall due to planned redevelopment there and concerns about parking raised,” he said.

“But otherwise there was a variety of comments – some people would like to see some more glass and a few preferred a more traditional design than the more modern design that we have put forward.

“The new hall will go at the back of Priory House and the Priory which allayed some fears it would be built on the grass at the front.

“Proposals for housing at the existing hall site were also on display.”

He said there are already a lot of developers interested in the existing Priory Hall site, with the proposed hall having the same floor area as the present one.

The sale of the site would give long-term income to repair and conserve the historic church. The planning applications – one for the new visitor centre and a linked proposal for the existing Priory Hall – are likely to be submitted later this year.

Comments (4)

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5:59pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Jim White says...

This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory.

Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town.

The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes.
This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory. Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town. The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes. Jim White
  • Score: 5

11:55pm Sun 16 Feb 14

AnastasiaB says...

As long as the annual open-air Shakespeare is allowed to continue having been there for over 35 years.
As long as the annual open-air Shakespeare is allowed to continue having been there for over 35 years. AnastasiaB
  • Score: -1

12:22am Mon 17 Feb 14

Yankee1 says...

Jim White wrote:
This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory.

Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town.

The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes.
That is fine, provided the tax payer and town takes over the maintenance of a building approaching 1000 years in age. Even if residents never set foot in the place, it draws many tourists to the town; it is the town's history. You cannot have it all. The Priory has to maintain the fabric; it receives no government funds.
[quote][p][bold]Jim White[/bold] wrote: This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory. Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town. The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes.[/p][/quote]That is fine, provided the tax payer and town takes over the maintenance of a building approaching 1000 years in age. Even if residents never set foot in the place, it draws many tourists to the town; it is the town's history. You cannot have it all. The Priory has to maintain the fabric; it receives no government funds. Yankee1
  • Score: -1

9:10am Mon 17 Feb 14

Jim White says...

Yankee1 wrote:
Jim White wrote:
This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory.

Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town.

The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes.
That is fine, provided the tax payer and town takes over the maintenance of a building approaching 1000 years in age. Even if residents never set foot in the place, it draws many tourists to the town; it is the town's history. You cannot have it all. The Priory has to maintain the fabric; it receives no government funds.
An extra 100,000 visitors a year = 50,000 extra cars in the Summer months = approx. extra 300 cars parked every single day of the week. How big is the existing car park ? It cannot currently cope, so where will the new visitors park?

There are better ways of funding the repairs. Examples; invest the money, lease the Priory House to someone who wants to live there. In fact, why did the vicar have to live in a new vicarage that must be worth £2.5m ? They could have used the money from the sale of the old vicarage and housed the vicar in a more modest home.

This just hasn't been thought through properly.

ps Yankee1, I am using my name, why are you hiding behind an alias?
[quote][p][bold]Yankee1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jim White[/bold] wrote: This is a business venture like any other business and its development plans should be considered with the usual degree of rigour and receive no favouritism. The Priory House isn't part of the church, it's a separate charitable trust which generates profit to help maintain the fabric of the Priory. Any normal business should not be allowed to build a large commercial complex (gift shop, café, hall for weddings etc) in such a sensitive location and create substantial parking and traffic problems in an already congested part of our town. The Trust's Tax and Council Tax free status also creates unfair competition for local gift shops and cafes.[/p][/quote]That is fine, provided the tax payer and town takes over the maintenance of a building approaching 1000 years in age. Even if residents never set foot in the place, it draws many tourists to the town; it is the town's history. You cannot have it all. The Priory has to maintain the fabric; it receives no government funds.[/p][/quote]An extra 100,000 visitors a year = 50,000 extra cars in the Summer months = approx. extra 300 cars parked every single day of the week. How big is the existing car park ? It cannot currently cope, so where will the new visitors park? There are better ways of funding the repairs. Examples; invest the money, lease the Priory House to someone who wants to live there. In fact, why did the vicar have to live in a new vicarage that must be worth £2.5m ? They could have used the money from the sale of the old vicarage and housed the vicar in a more modest home. This just hasn't been thought through properly. ps Yankee1, I am using my name, why are you hiding behind an alias? Jim White
  • Score: 2

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