Congregational Chapel, Hockliffe

BUILDING OF THE MONTH - FEBRUARY 2017

We fell in love with this early C19th red brick congregational chapel chiefly because of its lovely circular headed casement windows on the first floor. The chapel has a slate roof with modillioned brick eaves. The ground floor windows are arched sashes, which are reflected in the fanlight above the central double doors. However, as you can see from the photograph, the chapel is not weathertight - the roof is leaking and some windows are broken. Urgent works are required.

The chapel has now been at risk for a number of years, although it is new to the SAVE register. Listed Building consent was granted for conversion to a residential dwelling in 2001 and badly needed repairs were to be undertaken as part of the conversion. But a schedule of repairs was never submitted and no progress has been made. The local council has threatened legal action. It seems daft that a building of this quality and potential remains vacant and still at risk of further deterioration in this sought after area, and we hope that someone will take it in hand soon.

Within the last few years the local authority granted the current owner with a grant. This money was used to make the property wind and weather tight. However there has been little further progress and there are no known plans for the building. Whilst it remains without a use and still in a manner of decay, we consider the chapel to still be at risk.

The Chapel is just off the south-west side of the old Roman road, Watling Street, half way between Luton and Dunstable.

*Update* Oct 2009 -The owner has recently contacted the Conservation Officer regarding a 'reworking' of the existing approval for residential conversion. Financial constraints have prevented any real progress and whilst the building is weathertight SAVE hopes that some action will be taken soon.

*Update* July 2016 - Put up for sale in 2013 with planning permission.  Asking price was £200,000.  Withdrawn from sale in 2015.  The photographs on the Estate Agent's website (Urban & Rural) show that it is in very poor condition.