A PLANNING application which could see Bordon’s former garrison church demolished to make way for 12 homes has attracted more than 200 objections on the district council’s planning portal in a matter of days.

St George’s Garrison Church on Station Road has been identified by Barratt Homes as a location for four two-bedroom homes and eight three-bedroom homes, four of which would be affordable housing.

At the time the Herald went to press, the application had seen 204 comments by the public, with just two in support.

One objection read: “Do not destroy our heritage. This building is home to rare species of birds. You’ve destroyed our forests, leave the history of Bordon alone. We want these buildings left alone.”

Speaking at Whitehill Town Council’s executive meeting on Tuesday, district councillor Adam Carew said the number of objections was “astonishing”, later confirming the application had been “complicated further by the fact the former church has possibly 12 pairs of nesting house martins and swifts”.

He confirmed “all birds, their nests and eggs are protected under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act”.

He said: “It is a criminal offence to illegally disturb them. There may also be roosting bats. Even if permission is granted it is unlikely work will be able to begin now until after the nesting season.”

He continued: “Comments on social media do not count. It is not enough to say you don’t like the proposals, there has to be a robust planning reason for refusal. This might include loss of heritage, detriment to street scene, over-development, impact on protected wildlife even car parking. Hopefully the applicant will reconsider and agree to retain this much loved local landmark.”

Search for reference 56732/001 online at easthants.gov.uk/planning-application-process/search-and-comment-planning-applications