The future of the Guildford Cathedral, built in 1961, is now under threat after plans for a housing development on surplus land that would have raised a £10m endowment were rejected by the council.
Local church leaders had hoped a development proposal would solve its financial problems. The Most Rev Justin Welby wrote: ‘It is sometimes said that cathedrals are the Church of England’s equivalent of the big banks – ‘too big to fail’ – …..because the central church would ‘rescue’ them before total collapse. This is not the case.’
He said: ‘..the future of Guildford’s Cathedral rests very much in the decision the council makes.’ Bishop of Guildford Andrew Watson told the committee: ‘Without this planning permission there will be no endowment, no investment income and possibly no cathedral.’
However, Councillors overwhelmingly voted against the application on the basis that it was out of character for the area. They also stated that the development would cause substantial harm to the cathedral building and have a negative impact on views of the building from key locations in Guildford.
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