PLANS to make a church more accessible for disabled worshippers have been approved despite facing set backs earlier this year. 

The application was submit to Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) in June last year to rip up the cobbles of the entrance way to St Andrew's Church in Wiveliscombe

Former rector the Rev David Widdows said:

Mr Widdows said: "The driveway is in need of urgent repair.

"The existing surface is very uneven and immediately within the north churchyard gates the cobbles have sunk very badly."

The plans looked set to be opposed in January after an officer recommended the planning committee to turn down the application as the access plans for a ramp leading to the main door would cause "harm" to the Listed church. 

The report said: "It would result in the loss of a cobble path that contributes to the setting of this highly significant church and the surrounding Wiveliscombe conservation area and is an example of a West Country vernacular which is becoming increasingly neglected.

"The proposed design will cause harm at the medium to high end of the spectrum of harm and it is considered that an alternative and less harmful option exists that will achieve the same public benefit."

RELATED: Plans to make church driveway disable-friendly opposed

The application was deferred to allow more thought to be put into the design. 

Officers have now compromised with the project's architects to come up with a solution. 

A new report says: "Officers have had the opportunity to negotiate with the project architects and a compromise scheme that meets the needs of the church and reduces the harm to the heritage asset is now before the planning Committee.

"While not an ideal solution, it delivers the accessibility required to the church and the harm is reduced to a level where officers feel that on balance, they can now support the proposal.

"Historic England does not endorse the proposal but has withdrawn its objection."