Council approves 'glass church'

Campaigners fighting to push through plans for Britain's first glass-spired church, to be built in Dulwich Village, have won their battle.

Councillors in Southwark have agreed to grant planning permission for the much maligned designs. However, they have attached conditions to the permission, one of which being that the steeple must be made of coloured, instead of clear glass, to limit the amount of light emitted at night.

A row has been brewing among parishioners since the new plans were first presented. Some Dulwich residents have described the plans as 'wonderful', while others have said the spire will look more like a 'traffic cone sitting on a tea chest'. The former redbrick church of St Barnabas, in Calton Avenue, had to be demolished after it was gutted by fire in December 1992. Worshippers have been gathering in the nearby parish hall ever since.

Those who campaigned for the new church, complete with see-through spire, wanted a new place of worship as soon as possible and will be pleased with the planning committee's ruling.

However, some who have objected to the modern 'eyesore' said they might boycott the parish altogether if the plans go ahead.