Property Development Solicitors Help To Save Old Church14th Aug 2018
Property development solicitors at Coles Miller are helping a client to preserve a former church and give it a new lease of life.
Some redundant churches across Britain are being demolished to make way for housing – sparking protests from local communities.
But Coles Miller is helping to ensure that the former Emmanuel Church in Exeter city centre will remain a beautiful landmark building for years to come.
Coles Miller Partner Kerry Houston-Kypta acted for Exeter developer Barley Manor Properties Ltd in the purchase of the church, which closed in October 2014.
Barley Manor has been granted planning permission to restore the former church sympathetically and build nine one- and two-bedroom flats inside it, preserving the fabric of the building.
A spokesperson for Barley Manor said: “As church building contractors we are well used to working on unusual buildings with unique problems to overcome.
“So, when the opportunity to buy a redundant church and convert it to residential apartments came our way, we knew we would need a commercial solicitor that could navigate such an unusual purchase.
“Having worked with Kerry Houston-Kypta on a similar project 10 years ago, we felt she was the one person who would make sure the complicated process of purchasing from the Church of England went smoothly.
“As always, Kerry was available to answer any questions and offer sound legal advice in her calm and easy-to-understand manner.
“Now we have completed on the purchase, Kerry will also be assisting us with the development finance, drawing up all the leases and providing the sales conveyancing.”
Ms Houston-Kypta said: “It’s always sad when a church closes and sadder still when they are demolished – so it’s very satisfying to be able to save a beautiful building like the former Emmanuel Church.
“Churches play such an important part in our lives. They mean so much to all the worshippers, all those who were married there, christened there or said farewell to loved ones there,” she added.
The former Emmanuel Church dates back to 1897, replacing an earlier church which stood on the site. It has links with Scott of the Antarctic and survived the blitz, despite sustaining bomb damage in 1942.
Coles Miller’s commercial property solicitors help clients with legal advice on development, leases, licences, finance and secure lending, investments and buying and selling small businesses. The law firm has offices in Poole, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Broadstone and Wimborne.
For more information, contact Coles Miller Partner Houston-Kypta, 01202 355695.