Disused St Leonards church to go under hammer

The disused church
The disused church
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A HISTORIC former church in St Leonards is to be auctioned off.

The Grade II-listed St Leonards Congregational Church, in London Road, dates back to 1863 but was closed in 2008 after falling out of use.

The building, which has a guide price in excess of £100,000, was for sale in April through the firm for over £200,000, with four parties expressing interest. However, no acceptable bid was made at the time.

Since then a planning application for the conversion of a former workshop and scout area has been given the go-ahead.

James Emson, auctioneer, said: “This is a fabulous opportunity to own a Grade II-listed former church in the heart of the town, with many original features and a mezzanine floor overlooking the congregation floor.

“I’ve said it before, but it is a shame that this beautiful building of architectural and historical importance has no current purpose.

“The place is crying out to have a new lease of life, subject to all the necessary consents being obtainable from the local planning authority, and the go-ahead for a café may draw in investors with a commercial background.”

Founded as a Congregational church in 1863, it joined the United Reformed Church when that denomination was formed in 1972.

The church lost its copper spire in the Great Storm of 1987 and the last service was held in 2002.

It is among 18 buildings across Sussex and Surrey being sold by Clive Emson land and property auctioneers at The Hilton Brighton Metropole on Tuesday, November 1.