Church's activities 'would be too noisy'

A CHURCH looks set to be turned down in its bid to open a Sunday school and host other activities after environmental health officers warned that children's singing could spoil the peace for residents.

By Richard Smith

A CHURCH looks set to be turned down in its bid to open a Sunday school and host other activities after environmental health officers warned that children's singing could spoil the peace for residents.

The newly-formed Woodbridge Quay Church, in Quay Street, wants to use a former clothes shop close to the church for its own activities including the sale of fair trade products.

But council officers are worried that homeowners will be affected by noise, particularly on Sundays and during the evenings, from the church's followers.


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They are recommending that the development control sub-committee, meeting on Thursday, should reject the plans.

Earlier this year Beaumont Baptist Church, Chapel Street, and the Quay Street United Reformed Church amalgamated and started worshipping in Quay Street.

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The two churches said they were “excited at the prospect of reinvigorating the spiritual life and community in the heart of Woodbridge”.

But Quay Street is a mixture of restaurants, houses and shops and the district council is worried that there will be too much noise from musical equipment, singing and playing.

Officers are particularly worried that there is a potential conflict between different uses at 7 Quay Street where the quality of sound insulation is poor and noise will travel to occupiers of first-floor apartments.

There is also an issue over children crossing the road at a point where the pavement is narrow and that they would be endangered by passing traffic.

Mark Hardingham is the minister at the church and his wife Janet told the district council: “At present some of our members already support Tearcraft (a relief and development charity) within the church.

“The shop would involve volunteers selling fair trade products from Traidcraft and Tearcraft and making their catalogues available for larger orders.

“These organisations function as a Christian response to poverty in the developing world by supporting fair trade and are well known to our own church, as well as other churches in Woodbridge and nationally.

“We anticipate that this would be on a small scale with limited opening hours and would operate from the front entrance to the premises.”

richard.smith@eadt.co.uk

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