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Foster's church scheme rejected

Norman Foster's proposals for his first-ever church project have been sent back to the drawing board.

Holy Trinity Brompton, the client behind the scheme to extend the Grade II-listed St Paul's church in Onslow Square, west London, has decided to withdraw its planning application after an outcry from local residents.

The original 3,330m 2scheme - which was only unveiled last month ( Foster gets to work on first church scheme) - would have doubled the size of the existing 19th-century building in the upmarket Chelsea square.

Plans included a new three-storey extension with a large glazed atrium, a roof terrace and three residential units for the curate and vergers behind the building.

However parishioners were not taken by the scheme and wrote to Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council to say so.

A spokesman for Holy Trinity Brompton admitted it would now have to carry out a thorough consultation to find out how the designs could be amended.

Mark Elsdon-Dew said: 'We are genuinely going back to the drawing board.

'We want to talk to the neighbours and the council and we have a series of meetings with key representatives. As the local parish church we don't want to be seen to be against anybody and we have to reassess it all.

'[But] if we feel we are not going to get anywhere we will have to reassess everything.'

He added: 'What everybody is clear about is that everybody wants the existing church - which is structurally unsound - restored. 'It's just a question of how we do that.

'Something will definitely go-ahead on the site. What that something will be has yet to be seen. It may be weeks if not months before we see anything.'

Foster and Partners refused to comment.

by Richard Waite

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