Former church building in village near Corby could soon be office space

Stanion Methodist Church

Stanion Methodist Church

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A former Methodist church could soon be home to a design agency if plans are approved tonight (Tuesday).

Stanion Methodist Church in Chapel Lane, Stanion, is vacant and has been out of use for more than 12 months.

The building, which currently has no flooring or central heating installed, was closed prior to it being brought to market because of a lack of attendance and use.

Owners the Trust for Methodist Church Purposes had to dispose of the property and it was put up for sale in February 2016, with all sale proceeds going back into remaining chapels in the area so they can be maintained and remain open.

A report prepared for tonight’s meeting states: “Evidence has been provided that shows that the chapel has been marketed for approximately one year by professional agents.

“The agent has confirmed that the property has been ‘open for offers’ on the asking price, as evidenced by the sealed bids exercise.

“During the one-year period the majority of interest was to convert the church into residential use.

“Information for the marketing period has been provided by the applicant who clearly demonstrates that there has been a severe lack of interest with no offers by anyone to continue running the chapel as a community use.

“It is noted that one years’ worth of marketing sufficiently demonstrates a marketing exercise and displays that the premises is unviable in its current use a chapel/community use and satisfies the requirements of Policy 7 of the North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy by demonstrating that it is no longer viable.

“It is regretful to lose a village facility such as a chapel; however in this case it is clear that the building itself is a significant constraint with it essentially being small with no facilities to accommodate a successful community use.

“There is little scope for the building to diversify due to its constrained location and limited plot size.

“The village currently benefits from a good quality village hall facility, one public house and a chapel.

“Therefore losing the chapel is acceptable in principle and would not be significantly harmful to the supply of community facilities within the village, especially when judged against the demand.

“It would therefore be unreasonable to require the retention of the chapel building.”

If approved, the applicant has said they plan to run a design agency from the building and it will be employing four members of staff.

The application for a change of use from church to office use, which has been recommended for approval, will be considered by Corby Council’s development control committee tonight (Tuesday).

The meeting starts at 7pm in the council chamber at Corby Cube.