Glaisyers Solicitors has advised Gothic & Stone on the acquisition the former Engedi Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel in Colwyn Bay, which the Manchester-headquartered developer intends to convert into apartments. The firm is also providing ongoing legal advice to Gothic & Stone as it redevelops the disused church.
Gothic & Stone has acquired the property, which has been vacant for approximately 20 years, from a trust. The developer has submitted plans, drawn up by the Manchester-based GA Studio Architects, to convert the former chapel into 18 residential apartments.
These plans are currently being considered by Conwy County Borough Council. An earlier owner previously secured planning permission to convert the building, which is not listed and is no longer registered as a church, into 12 apartments.
Gothic & Stone has, in the interim, been granted permission by the Council’s building regulations department to carry out preliminary works on the site. These works are now underway and the developer hopes to get the final go-ahead for its plans by mid-June.
The deal to acquire the property completed in mid-March. Subject to planning consent, Gothic & Stone expects the development, which will be called “Trinity”, to be completed by Easter 2021.
Ross Wellman, partner in the property department at Glaisyers, led the firm’s advice on the legal aspects of the purchase. He continues to oversee Glaisyers’ ongoing advice on the project, which includes representing the developer in its dealings with bridging finance providers and handling future plot sales.
The firm is currently putting together sales packs for use with solicitors acting for buyers of the apartments. Four apartments have already been reserved and the total value of the development is expected to be in excess of £3 million.
Mr Wellman said, “From our perspective this is a really positive story, showing that life continues to go on in the residential sector even during the peak of lockdown. Trinity will be a spectacular addition to Colwyn Bay when the scheme is completed, contributing to the resort’s ongoing regeneration, and I am really pleased we have been able to be involved.”
Gothic & Stone is a venture established by the Aberystwyth-born, Manchester-based property developer Alexander Taylor. Mr Taylor is also involved in a number of residential developments around the North West of England.
He said, “Ross and the team at Glaisyers have been excellent, dealing with a number of complexities that arose in the purchase process and continuing to give commercial, pragmatic advice as we deal with finance providers and potential buyers. I have worked with the firm on previous projects and am very happy to have them on board once again.”
The Engedi Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel, on Woodland Road West in Colwyn Bay, first opened its doors to worshipers in 1879. The Methodist church closed in 1987 and the building was then used as a place of worship by the Elim Pentecostal Church in the 1990s before falling into disuse around the turn of the millennium.
Mr Taylor expects strong demand for the apartments, thanks in part to the regeneration experienced by the resort in recent years. He said, “Significant amounts of money have been invested in the seafront and Colwyn Bay is now a really bustling town, or rather it will be again when we come out of lockdown.”
He also hailed the skills available in the area, saying Gothic and Stone has been able to secure local stone masons and stained-glass restorers to work on the project. “You just wouldn’t find the same artisan skills in a big city,” he said.
As well as engaging time-served tradespeople Gothic and Stone has also taken on two apprentices who live in Colwyn Bay. These apprentices have received full health and safety training and all ongoing works are being carried out in strict adherence with social distancing rules.