October 26 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, April 3, 2014
A former congregational church in south Norfolk is set to be converted into a new home to be sold on the open market.
South Norfolk Council’s development management committee has given applicant Vincent Somers permission to convert the Hingham Congregational Church in Chapel Street two years after the building last held services after stopping due to dwindling congregation numbers.
Builder Mr Somers was seeking to convert the premises into a home with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, dining room and kitchen, while the property will also boast a garden at the back.
There will also be mezzanine and minstrel galleries with a staircase splitting two ways and bedrooms overlooking the minstrel gallery.
However, the front and sides of the building will not change and the church will retain its three sided appearance.
Geoff Reeve, an architect for the scheme, said: “When it becomes a family home you won’t see any difference because the aim is to preserve the character of the conservation area.”
A later rear extension will be demolished as part of the conversion work, while new window openings were proposed in the main rear gable of the church with the potential to overlook the rear gardens of neighbouring properties in Bond Street, although the windows will have obscure glazing with restricted opening to prevent overlooking.
There will also be provision for two parking spaces at the front of the site in the courtyard area.
Mr Reeve said the aim was to have the building work complete within six months, though there were still building regulations that needed to be passed.
He added: “It is good because the place had fallen into rack and ruin and it could become derelict or vandalised and it is a re-use of a redundant building, which is good.”
The church practices congregational church governance in which each congregation independently runs its own affairs.