Tonight a small team of us are delivering letters to the neighbours around Garrod House. Many of them have been very supportive and encouraging over these years and we want to keep them up to date with what is happening!
16th May 2013
Dear Garrod House neighbour
It has been a long time since our last letter. We hope that this message finds you well and that it helps bring you up-to-date with the story of Garrod House and Oakhall Church.
Oakhall Church – growing in Caterham since 1894!
Oakhall Church has been in our town for almost 120 years. As a local church, we have been involved in all kinds of community projects over these decades. Even though we have a building in Francis Road, we now rent deStafford School each Sunday morning because so many are joining us.
As you probably know, in 2009, we applied to the council to regenerate deserted Garrod House into a church building and community centre. Unfortunately, the council did not grant us the permissions we had hoped for and we had to begin our extensive planning process again.
Purchasing Garrod House
In 2010, a Christian trust purchased Garrod House with the intention of donating the site to Oakhall Church should planning permission be granted. If the permission we need is denied, the trust will sell the building and site commercially and use their funds for other charitable work.
A new plan for this site
Over these last years, we have worked to form a plan to use the site in a way that will be useful for the church, good for Caterham and acceptable to the planning committee in Tandridge. Our plans are crystalising and we have had some helpful advice from the Tandridge Town Planners.
Demolishing Garrod House
Our intention now is that if we obtain planning permission we will demolish Garrod House and replace it with a more sympathetic building that will complement the area that surrounds it. With a team of professionals working with us, we hope to have the plans finished by the end of this year. We will then reapply to the Tandridge Planning Committee.
An invitation to meet!
If you would like to meet us, we will have a marquee at DeFest this month – we would pleased to chat! We also enclose with this letter an invitation to our next “Oakhall Cafe” at deStafford School on June 23rd. You also are welcome to any of our other events – all details are on our website – this and our other contact details are above.
With warm regards,
– Andy Mayo on behalf of Oakhall Church.