Protect Chesham Bois Common & Surrounding Area
Who We Are
Chesham Bois Common & Surrounding Area Campaign
As concerned residents of Amersham & Chesham Bois, we highly value and want to protect the unique nature of the Common, the woodland and the buildings that make the heart of Chesham Bois village and surrounding area enjoyable for everyone.
The reasons for setting up the campaign:
Create AWARENESS of the St Leonard's large scale development in the heart of the Conservation Area through stating the facts about the redevelopment.
Provide a platform for the wider community to SHARE THEIR VIEWS AND CONCERNS.
PROVIDE GUIDANCE for members of the community to state their own views formally.
The Proposed Development
The two sites will become one large site - all existing buildings will be demolished, with the following new builds:
The 'Parish Centre' consisting of:
A large (275 people) hall to be used for church services & gatherings with the intention of an 'all week' presence;
Additional multi-purpose hall to replace the existing Village Hall with an additional capacity for 100 people.
Offices for St Leonard's Church and Chesham Bois Parish Council, including meeting rooms;
Church led cafe.
A new enlarged Rectory and 1 additional home for Church staff
A separate building for Maryland Day nursery;
Car parking for 72 cars, accessed via Glebe Way.
Detailed plans can be found here
The cost is estimated to be around £5 million, making it the biggest development in the Chesham Bois Conservation area for many years.
The Proposed Development
St Leonard's Church
The site is owned by and is to be developed by the church, not the Parish Council. St Leonard's Church is an Anglican, Evangelical & Charismatic Church that promotes the School of the Prophetic. Habitat for Humanity, are the project management company working with the church to develop the site:
The Church's Vision
Grow the Congregation
The intention is to grow the church congregation (to 275) from outside as well as inside the Chesham Bois community. Currently a very small proportion of Chesham Bois residents attend St Leonard's services. Congregation numbers year on year are declining.
The primary purpose of the buildings - a 275 person, multi-purpose hall, offices & cafe, is for use by the church community and other local community groups. Members of the groups will be renting the building for a variety of purposes. It will be used during the day and in the evenings.
The existing St Leonard's Church on Bois Lane is a Grade II listed building. It will continue to be used for the 8.00am & 10.00am Sunday services.
The Concerns of The Community
Serious concerns from the residents in Amersham & Chesham Bois have been raised on the proposed St. Leonard's development because:
·The size and intensity of the development is huge. It is not simply a replacement Parish Centre – it is a new Church, to include a number of extra buildings.
This unprecedented large-scale development will be located in the heart of the Chesham Bois Conservation Area; it will impact ALL Chesham Bois residents.
It undermines the distinct character of The Conservation Area and promotes the spread of urbanisation – it does not preserve or enhance The Conservation Area.
The proposed buildings could hold around 400 people, which would result in an increase in traffic, with the incremental increase in light / visual / noise/ air pollution issues.
Inevitably, parking will spill out on to the surrounding roads, given there are only 72 proposed permanent parking spaces on the site and create a major safety issue.
It sets a precedent for future large-scale development applications within the area, resulting in increased urbanisation and the loss of the distinctive semi-rural character forever, which we all value highly.
This will be an active site, with 7-day week worship, leisure and business activities both day and evening; it will greatly alter the nature and tranquility at the heart of the village.
Current Church attendance is declining, with 40% of the congregation coming from outside the area. St Leonard's intention is to grow numbers from outside the parish, yet there are already 9 churches in Amersham.
There is an existing St Leonard's Parish Church on Bois Lane - what has been done for this church building to be adapted to twenty first century worship? Will it become a relic with the relocation of church services to the new worship hall development?
How do I object?
The most important point is that you object in writing BEFORE March 24th!
Anyone on the electoral role can comment on and object to an application; you don't have to live next door. Multiple objections can be received from individual households. Submit each objection in your own words – is it the scale of the project, or the light/sound/air pollution, or is parking and traffic congestion the issue?
The following are examples of planning issues:
The design, layout and appearance of the development and its impact on the surrounding area
Highway safety including inadequate car parking/overspill and traffic considerations
The effect of the development on neighbouring property e.g. overshadowing, loss of privacy, overbearing appearance, noise and lighting
Impact on Conservation Area and heritage issues, trees etc. and setting a precedent for further developments in the area
WHERE CAN I READ THE FULL PLANNING APPLICATION?
Follow the planning application number (PL/20/0401/FA) and reference.
HOW DO I OBJECT?
Comments must be made in writing. All correspondence must be received by Chiltern District Council by the March 24th deadline.
Firstly, in your own words, please explain why you are unsupportive of the proposed planning application. It is recommended that you reference one (or more) of the four planning issues outlined above.
You can either either send your objection by email (as an attachment) or by post (as a hard copy).
By Email to Melanie Beech who is the planning case officer, and open copy Chesham Bois Parish Council.
By Post (and copy to Chesham Bois Parish Council) to the following address:
Planning Department FAO: Melanie Beech
Chiltern District Council,
King George V House,
King George V Road,
WHAT INFORMATION MUST I INCLUDE IN MY OBJECTION?
Please include the application number PL/20/0401/FA and reference St. Leonards Parish Centre, Glebe Way, HP6 5ND. Please be sure to include your name and address in the correspondence too.
CHESHAM BOIS PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS
Chesham Bois Parish Council are also seeking the collective views of the Community at a Parish Council Emergency Meeting on Wednesday March 11th at 8pm at The Beacon School. We would encourage you to attend as this is a public meeting where all views are sought.
Agenda for the meeting can be located here.
A further Parish Council Extraordinary Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 18th March at 8pm, also at The Beacon School, where we believe the Parish Council will announce its decision as to whether to object to the proposal or not.
The formal Planning Application has now been registered. We are at the end of an email and very happy to discuss the plans in greater detail with you. Please contact us at:
We will regularly place updates on Facebook, please follow us on: @ProtectCheshamBoisCommon
Read the HERITAGE REPORT, which Alison Bailey has curated, this provides some amazing stories and reasons why we need to protect the Chesham Bois Conservation Area.
Chesham Bois Parish Council are also seeking views from across the community. Email your view to: