Work starts on Colwyn Bay chapel conversion

Investor Gothic & Stone has started preliminary works to transform a disused chapel in North Wales into 18 apartments, while it awaits a full planning decision on the scheme in June.

The Manchester-based developer acquired the former Engedi Welsh Calvinistic Methodist chapel in Colwyn Bay for an undisclosed sum in March, and plans a £3m, 12,000 sq ft residential development to bring the property back into use.

The chapel, on Woodland Road West, first opened its doors to worshippers in 1879. It closed as a Methodist church in 1987 and was later used by the Elim Pentecostal Church in the 1990s, but has lain empty for 20 years and begun falling into ruin. It is no longer registered as a place of worship.

A previous application by a former owner to convert the building into flats received planning consent in 2004 but that has lapsed. Gothic & Stone submitted its proposals at the beginning of April, and, following extensive pre-application talks with the council, said it “does not expect any delays” in receiving planning approval in June.

In the meantime, the council has granted interim consent to carry out preliminary works, enabling Gothic & Stone to appoint Colwyn Bay-based Cambrian Builders & Joiners as the main contractor and start work on site.

The proposed scheme has been named Trinity and is expected to complete by spring 2021. Four apartments have been reserved by prospective off-plan buyers and other talks are ongoing, according to the developer.

Manchester-based GA Studio Architects drew up the proposals and provided planning consultancy, while law firm Glaisyers advised Gothic & Stone on the acquisition and continues to provide ongoing legal advice.

Ross Wellman, partner at Glaisyers, 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.”

Gothic & Stone is headed up by its founder, Aberystwyth-born property developer Alexander Taylor.

“Significant amounts of money have been invested in the seafront and Colwyn Bay is now a really bustling town, or at least, it will be once lockdown is lifted,” Taylor said.

Trinity Chapel Exterior

The chapel opened in 1879 but has lain empty for two decades

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