Thumbs-up for the chapel flats that John built

John De Pear
John De Pear
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A Methodist chapel conversion in Holbeach is attracting quite a lot of praise from passers-by.

Developer John De Pear bought the 1871 property in May 2013 and it has been a labour of love to turn it into four flats, which nearly cost him his life.

John (47), of Deljon Properties, said halfway through the project he was on holiday in Wales when he fell ill and was diagnosed with a heart murmur.

He said: “It had been a very stressful time at work. I booked in at Harley Street and at Papworth Hospital for surgery to repair a heart valve. They had also found a massive aneurysm.

“But the day after I was released, I was back on site.”

Many developers shied away from the opportunity to convert the chapel because the building, in Park Road, is in a conservation area and the planning consent had an affordability clause in it.

However, John saw it had immense potential. He said: “I thought I could enhance Holbeach with it and it’s been one of the biggest challenges of my life. G R Merchant Ltd of Holbeach did the plans and from the start passers-by have been stopping me to look at them and see how things were going.

“The building was a real eyesore when we started. Now it’s a total transformation.”

As well as quirky features, each has its own outdoor space. One flat is already sold, with another under offer and two more singles up for grabs for £84,995 and £79,995 through Lets Get You Moving.

John said: “Now the project is complete, it’s probably time to take a holiday in the sun – and not be taken sick this time!”