Selsey church appeals to save illegal Sunday School building

The cabin in place at the East Beach Evangelical Church, in Selsey. Picture by Phil Harding SUS-151016-130054001
The cabin in place at the East Beach Evangelical Church, in Selsey. Picture by Phil Harding SUS-151016-130054001

A Selsey church is fighting an enforcement notice to remove their Sunday School after the council deemed the building was installed illegally.

The East Beach Evangelical Church, in Marisfield Place, had the portable cabin dropped in last October to help it expand the main congregational area inside.

One of the congregation, Alistair Ghinn, headed to Chichester to find a suitable cabin they could use for the Sunday School.

He found a cabin with Chichester firm JC Portable Site Accommodation and while it would normally cost £5,000-£10,000, he had been offered one in need of cosmetic repairs for around £1,000.

To save costs, a 60-ton crane already in the area on another job was used to lower the 48-feet-long structure into place.

However, now Chichester District Council claims that ‘due to the size and weight of the building and its method of installation, it is considered to be a building operation requiring planning permission’.

The church has appealed the decision after CDC stated that the building is in breach of planning control and is required to be removed from the land.

CDC planning officers added that the close proximity of the building to residential properties ‘could give rise to disturbance’, and add that the metal gates installed at the front of the building are considered to be ‘out of keeping’ with the area.

According to CDC, a planning application was made for the portacabin and withdrawn before determination and no further application has been submitted.