Chelsea chapel up for conversion into £25m home
- By Bertie Russell
- 18 July 2019
A “beautiful and exceptional” Victorian chapel in Chelsea that has stood empty for almost 30 years is up for sale with plans to turn it into a £25 million home.
The Grade II* listed St Luke’s Chapel, built in 1850 to serve Brompton Hospital, has gone on the market with a price tag of £7.5 million and is already attracting keen interest, according to agents.
The gothic revival building, which has not been used for worship since 1991, comes with planning permission to convert it into a luxury residence with five bedrooms.
A brochure being handed out to potential buyers, with computer-generated illustrations of potential interiors, suggests it would cost almost £5.5 million to carry out the work, including £3.15 million for the construction and a £1.1 million “service charge” to nearby residents to compensate them for disruption during one year of building.
However, stamp duty would be levied at only five per cent, rather than 12 or 15 per cent for a conventional home, because the chapel is not currently a residential building.
The brochure estimates that the finished project could be worth at least £25 million, a 10,000-fold increase on the £2,500 it cost architect Edward Buckton Lamb to build it.
Alan Russell, managing director of agents Russell Simpson which is handling the sale, said: “It is quite a rarity to have a property like this with the volume of fantastic space, as well as security and privacy.
“Some chapels can be a bit dark inside but the planning permission includes 82 skylights in the roof that will make it a very light and bright space. It really is quite a rarity and we have already had lots of people call about it.”
Images in the brochure show how the ground floor could have a “stunning vaulted living room”, kitchen, master bedroom with en-suite and dressing room, a guest suite and staff bedroom, as well as a conservatory and gardens. Upstairs would have a vaulted study and three more bedrooms.
The buyer would also have access to facilities in the Bromptons luxury apartment scheme next door, including a gym and swimming pool.
Land Registry documents show that the chapel, built using Kentish rag and Caen stone, was bought for £3 million by property entrepreneur Bob Camping in 2013.
His first application to convert the building was turned down by Kensington & Chelsea council in 2014 after planners agreed with objections from the Victorian Society, which argued that conversion would require the removal of “a complete Victorian interior with integral fittings of the highest quality”.
But a second application in 2017 was approved, with the council concluding that “this residential scheme presents a permanent and viable solution which is acceptable on the basis that it would secure the long-term future of the building, and safeguarding the special architectural and historic interest”.
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