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Condemned chapel ‘a developer’s delight’ claims estate agent

The chapel house

Estate agent Andrew Morgan is taking a very pragmatic view when it comes to the sale of a property which has recently come under his command.

To many, Pontgarreg Chapel is a minefield of devastation having been neglected and allowed to fall into a state of serious disrepair and subsequent virtual ruin for several decades.

But this, according to Morgan and Davies director Andrew Morgan, could point to  a converter’s paradise.

“Whenever properties like this come onto the open market, it’s always very exciting for estate agents as the property’s potential is considerable,” Andrew Morgan  told The Herald from his office in Lampeter, mid Ceredigion.

“The frustrating thing is that anyone wishing to buy properties such as this for residential purposes face a steep uphill struggle with their respective planning authorities because so much emphasis is being placed these days, on holiday accommodation conversions as opposed to residential conversions.  Estate agents and property developers have been banging on about this for some considerable time, particularly in light of the serious housing shortages that are affecting the counties of south Wales, including Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. But here at the chapel, the holiday potential  could be one of the escapisms that will enable the buyers to get  through the planning mire.”

Pontgarreg Chapel is situated in the village of Capel Iwan which is  a highly sought-after location, being three miles south of the market town of Newcastle Emlyn in Carmarthenshire.  As a result, it lies within easy travelling distance of both Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

The property comprises the early Victorian chapel which, despite being described by the agents as being ‘in generally poor condition’ still retains its traditional oak pews, pulpit and balcony.

The chapel interior

Even though the chapel has been condemned as a result of its levels of dry rot, wall fungus and general state of disrepair, the  congregation continued worshipping there until earlier this year, when services took place in the vestry. 

“The vestry is undoubtedly the building which is in the best condition of the three which are included in the sale,” continued Andrew Morgan. 

 “The chapel has been condemned and the chapel house is also in very poor condition and is in need of substantial investment.  

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“But this is what makes it so attractive.  The fact that there is already a house on site gives the developer the opportunity to live there but then convert the remaining buildings into holiday accommodation.  

“There’s no doubt that this site could hold a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But it also has a considerable scope for improvement, and contains many early Victorian features such as the fireplaces and recessed windows.”

Inisde the chapel house can be found many original features

It is understood that the chapel was built in 1818 after land was given to the Calvinistic Methodists by a local landowner.

As with the majority of redundant chapels and churches, there are covenants attached to the sale.  These often, but not exclusively, relate to access to the graves which lie in the adjoining graveyard for the families of those who have been laid to rest.  

Further information about any existing covenants at Pontgarreg Chapel should contact Morgan and Davies estate agents on 01570 423623.  The agent can also enlighten any potential buyers concerning the 999-year leasehold however this shouldn’t be an issue as there are still over 800 years remaining.

The chapel, the chapel house and the vestry are currently on the market for £55,000.

Further details as regards Planning Consents and alternative use should be directed to the Local Planning Authority at Carmarthenshire County Council Tel: 01267-234567.