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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Couple hope to turn gospel hall into new home

A MERSEYSIDE couple hope to convert a gospel hall into their retirement home after snapping it up for £48,000.

Andrew Gregson travelled to the County Auction Rooms in Ulverston on Thursday to bid for the vacant Sandside Gospel Hall in Kirkby.

He and his wife had spotted the premises during one of their regular visits to South Cumbria.

Bidding was cagey, with auctioneer Ian Walker getting his first nod at the starting price of £30,000.

A bid of £35,000 was made before offers went up £2,000 a time until the hammer came down on Mr Gregson’s bid of £48,000.

South Lakeland District Council’s planning department had indicated the hall’s potential for planning consent for residential use.

And Mr Gregson, who regularly takes breaks at Longlands Holiday Park, had his heart set on the building.

He said: “We’re going to make it into a retirement home for the two of us.

“We have been looking for a while and one weekend we walked past that one on a walk.

“We have a caravan at Longlands and we went for a walk down there and we just passed it one day and that’s why I’m here today.”

Mr Gregson, who intends to submit a planning application to SLDC, was happy with the price and said he would have bid higher if there had been further competition.

Auctioneer Mr Walker, Harrison Coward managing director, said the price was over his client’s expectations.

The gospel hall held its final service in July.

Its closure was a result of a dwindling congregation, which was making it difficult to justify the hall continuing.

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