Historic Chelsea chapel listed at £7.5m with plans for a £25m super-home
- By Bertie Russell
- 16 July 2019
Buyers are being pitched the opportunity to transform one of Chelsea’s most important buildings into a “magnificent” single residence, potentially worth north of £25m.
Built by EB Lamb in 1849-50 to serve Brompton Hospital, and then enlarged by William White in 1891-92, the Grade II* listed St Luke’s Chapel has been offered up for sale at £7.5m (£1,762 psf), complete with planning to create a four/five-bed super-home.
The gothic revival structure forms part of the Bromptons, Northacre’s 1997 heritage revival scheme that successfully brought the old Brompton Hospital back to life as luxury apartments; the new owner will have access to the development’s suite of five-star facilities – including porterage, residents’ gym and swimming pool, board room, and on-site security.
RBKC has approved a significant enlargement of the current footprint, from 4,257 to 7,330 square feet, and the particulars estimate an “all-in” development cost of £5.195m (including a “one-off” service charge contribution to existing residents of £1.25m; an ongoing service charge would also apply).
Other key selling points include an SDLT rate of 5% (due to the commercial classification), two underground parking spaces and – potentially – access to the glorious Onslow Square Gardens via the creation of a path behind the tennis court (something the new owner would need to negotiate separately).
An application to convert the building was originally turned down in 2014, after planners concurred with the Victorian Society in deciding that the scheme would cause “substantial harm” to the building, and a subsequent appeal was dismissed in 2016.
The same plans received a far more positive response in 2017, however, with RBKC concluding: “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 as far as possible. The future of the removed fittings would also be secured and will have the added benefit of enhancing a functioning grade II* Gothic Church. The proposals would include heritage benefits, which would sustain and in parts enhance the significances of the chapel and would remove the risks of long term vacancy to this vulnerable asset heritage.”
The approved proposals allow for the addition of 82 new roof lights, which will, say agents, “transform the building into a light filled space”.
The £25m+ estimate has been arrived at via two key comparables: King’s Chapel Chelsea (two residences asking £20m-£25m/£3,000 psf each) and St Saviour’s in Knightsbridge (single dwelling, sold for £42m/£3,800 psf) showed what could be done with disused chapels in prime locations, although it’s argued that both schemes lacked the combination of amenities and position offered by St Luke’s.
Alan Russell of Russell Simpson told PrimeResi: “St. Luke’s Chapel offers an incredibly rare opportunity to transform a beautiful and exceptional building nestled in the heart of Chelsea into a bespoke tailored, and truly unique home. Situated within the Bromptons Development, the eventual occupier will have direct access to first-class concierge services and facilities including an indoor swimming pool and stunning landscaped private gardens.”
The project team includes development manager Waltonwagner, architecture practice TDO, and main contractor Poles Apart.
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