The Old Methodist Chapel at 59a London Street, at the corner of Test Road, is being sold by auction next Wednesday, 27 June 2012 with a guide price between £150,000 to £175,000.
ONCE A SHIRT FACTORY TO ROYALTY
The chapel has been shut for many years and has laid unused since being used as an antiques shop in the early 2000s. From 1968 to 1994 the property was owned by Turnbull and Asser Limited, shirtmakers to HRH The Prince of Wales. After being sold on, it was used as an Antiques showroom for a short period.
The building is not listed officially except as a ‘notable building’ of local interest by Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council. Last year, another notable building, the Harvest Home pub, was allowed to be demolished by the Council.
The chapel is within the Conservation Area and has only the garden at the front and appears to have no parking places for cars — the driveway beside it appears to belong to the old cinema, which is also derelict.
NO ALCOHOL, BETTING OR DANCING
The H.M. Land Registry shows that the trustees of the Methodist Church placed legal restrictions on the property which prevents the place being used for anything to do with intoxicating liquor, betting or use as a public dance hall.
A second restriction from August 1994 prevents any business or trade using the property under the name of Turnbull & Asser.
The floor plan in the sales material state that the property has a main hall, meeting room, kitchenette and cloakroom.
YOUTH CLUB INTEREST
Last year, a charity bicycle ride was undertaken by Chris Miller to raise funds for the Whitchurch Youth Centre Trust with a view to possibly purchasing this property.
A spokesperson for the Whitchurch Youth Centre Trust stated this week, though, that they have “nowhere near enough money to bid for the property”.
CHANGE OF USE
However, an earlier application, to convert it into 4 two-bedroom dwellings was granted on 27th November 2003 (BDB/51822) – with the condition that £1560 was paid to B&DBC for swimming facilities within Basingstoke and Deane.
The conversion did not take place within the allowed period and the permission has now expired.
The property is being auctioned by Carter Jonas at The Winchester Royal Hotel on St. Peter Street, Winchester, Hampshire on Wednesday 27th June 2012 at 6:30pm. The company can be reached on 01962 842742.
There is a book available in the exhibition in the current (Wesleyan) Methodist Church that tells the history of the chapel. See our article about the recent flower festival at the Methodist Church which is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year: A colourful weekend.