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Tamba entrepreneur to ‘altar’ another church

Tamba entrepreneur to ‘altar’ another church

Thursday 23 January 2020

Tamba entrepreneur to ‘altar’ another church

A local entrepreneur has taken on another church conversion project, having put in plans to transform a former Methodist chapel into three homes for first-time buyers.

The owner of the former family attraction Tamba Park, Jonathan Ruff, has submitted a planning application to turn First Tower Methodist Church into three two-bedroom flats with sea views.

After successfully converting the ex-United Reform Church in Victoria Street into eight apartments, Mr Ruff’s development company JAJ Properties is now trying to get planning permission for another altar-ation. 


Pictured: The property boasts many original features and sweeping sea views.

'Bay Chapel' has already had a series of planning approvals to become a residential property as well as one to build a garage and to construct a pitched roof.

The former owner of the seaside church never saw plans to turn it into one three-bedroom property through and sold it on instead.

Now, JAJ Properties and Origin Architecture Studio are praying for the go-ahead to divide the church up into three apartments, appealing to those trying to get on the property ladder. 

Laying out their plans, the applicant states: “We have submitted this new application versus building out the existing permit as we feel the location lends itself better to first-time buyer properties versus one large property which would be valued in excess of £1.2million, the area in which the church sits has smaller terrace[d] houses to its left and a block of apartments to its right, we feel three unique lower-priced properties will give the first time buyer market something unique and prove very popular as we have seen with our other two church conversions." 

The supporting design statement explains that there are numerous internal issues with the property including damp and suspected asbestos, which would need to be resolved before the apartments are renovated. 


Pictured: The chapel was sold with planning permission.

Despite making these internal changes, the applicant assures the Planning Department that the historical features and outward appearance of the listed building will be protected.

The application hopes to put the church building back into use after being left “vacant for six years” and, within that time, has fallen “further into a state of disrepair."

Bringing the statement to a close, the applicant speaks of having “a great amount of experience in Church conversions, having recently converted two churches into apartments to a very high standard which have proved to be very popular with young homeowners who are looking for something different as their first home."

It continues: “These proposals revers the recent building decay to the building envelope and deal with the root causes of those inherent problems. The application establishes a new lease of life for a tired, potentially damaged building, bringing it back to beneficial use to the benefit of the local residential community.”

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