Wednesday 6 April 2022

Two chapels, a church and a lesson

Going to the chapels..... Starting with a duo of Moors cuties. Teeny, limited land (because that's usual with chapels) but oh so pretty.

Smallest first - this chapel is in the gorgeous village of Gillamore, within the North York Moors National Park and around three miles from the market town of Kirbymoorside.

The chapel is basically one tall room, with a disabled loo and a sink placed to the side. There's no planning permission in place (hence its £60k guide price) and permission to turn it into a home would be subject to a local occupancy/principal residence clause because it would count as new home, and to proving it's no longer viable as church.

On the market through Peter Illingworth at offers over £60k, details here.

Let's take a moment. Obviously, 'Wreck..' is about saving rundown or unwanted properties and turning them into much-loved homes for families. It's why I started the blog. 

But also obviously, a great many of properties I feature will become second homes and holiday lets. I recognise that's in the nature of my focusing on cute and country much of the time. But I'm not completely comfortable with it. 

On the one hand, a home that's loved and used even part of the year is better than one left empty or falling down. On the other, the gap between the multiple home owners and those unable to buy any home is growing each year and the imbalance in the home ownership in the UK, particularly between the generations, is a failure of democratic willingness to invest in our children.

Statistic: Distribution of home owners in England in 2021, by age | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

In 2019-20, just over half of UK households lived in a home they owned. But they were older (average age 58) and richer (54% owned their home outright) than their social renting (average age 53) or private renting (average age 41) neighbours. And their renting neighbours were overwhelmingly unlikely to buy - 81% or private renters and 93% of social renters hadn't considered applying for a mortgage to buy their own home, according to the government's English Housing Survey

So, I don't have problem with local authorities who set rules on limiting second home ownership in some of those cute and country areas. But the planning rule that restricts the residential development of the Gillamore chapel (and the one below) to local occupancy is blown out by central government guidelines which prioritise redevelopment of properties into holiday lets for "economic growth". Hence, rural planning officers are expected to: 
support the conversion and re-use of appropriately located and suitably constructed existing buildings in the countryside (particularly those adjacent or closely related to towns or villages) for economic development. [EC6.2.c]

What that means is it's easier for you to turn your chapel into a holiday let than your holiday home. 

Let's move on. 

Also in a pretty North York Moors village is this chapel in Appleton le Moors. Very similar to Gillamoor, pretty place, good pub nearby, tourism hotspot and small chapel sitting on tiny bit of land (Gillamoor had a strip at the back: Appleton a strip at the front).

Pretty windows and possibly more attractive on the inside, but do make sure you know which of those lovely pews and fixtures (if any) are included in the sale, and agree what will happen if damage is caused in removing pews and fittings.

The chapel has power but no mains water or drainage (hence the cheaper price) and is also on the market through Peter Illingworth. Offers over £40k, details here.

My final pick is also in North Yorkshire, albeit further south and a church rather than a chapel. It also has a LOT more space - inside and out - and potential to become a substantial home.

All Saints Church is in the village of Whitley, around six miles from Pontefract and ten from Goole. One large (158sqm) double-height room, with a porch entrance and pretty apse area, plus services connected (heating is LPG, via tank). Stone floor, slate roof, gorgeous stone details and windows.

There's a large grassed area to the front, setting it back from Selby Road/the A19, and another good-sized grassed area to the rear, backing onto fields. 

Guide price is £185k, for sale via Walker Singleton in Halifax. Details and more pictures here.