A CHURCH in Barry will be demolished to make way for flats.

St Paul’s Church and hall, in St Paul’s Avenue, will be knocked down for a development of 27 flats – which would be served by 18 parking spaces.

The Vale of Glamorgan’s planning committee approved the plans on Wednesday, July 31 despite concerns raised over an “unacceptable scale and design” of the new flats.

Nearby resident, John Lawrence told the committee: “The height, mass and external appearance will result in a high-scale, overbearing building”.

Planning officers say the new building would not be much more dominant over the area than the current church.

But Cllr Nic Hodges, committee member who objected to the plans, said: “It’s an important building, it’s a historic building.

“It deserves care, attention, love and forethought from this council.

“This will become, in a time, a site we will not be proud of.”

Barry Town Council, which strongly objected to the plans, has said: “The proposed development is unacceptable in scale and design and due to its elevated position above the St Paul’s Avenue street levels and would be an incongruous feature in the street scene resulting in overshadowing, overbearing and dominate the surrounding residential properties and area

“The design of the proposed development does little to reflect the character, heritage, integrity and robustness of the former St. Paul’s Church and the area.”

The church is not listed or recognised as a county treasure, which means its demolition can’t be prevented, a council report said.

Planning officers said initially 31 flats were proposed at the site but this was scaled down by applicant Hafod Housing Association following concerns raised about the size of the building.

Steffan Harries, for agents LRM Planning, said there would be a significant cost in refurbishing the current church and said it would “provide much needed affordable housing on an otherwise redundant site”.

The planning application said: “The scheme will provide a mix and range of affordable housing to meet current needs. The scheme will entirely consist of general needs affordable housing”.

A council planning report said: “The building would be wider than the existing church and in parts the eaves would be higher, however, it is considered that the building would not be materially more dominant in the street scene and it would not appear over scaled or visually harmful.”

The plans were approved by a majority vote with Cllrs Ian Johnson, Nic Hodges, and Leighton Rowlands voting against.