AN HISTORIC York chapel dating back 130 years is to be turned into 26 flats and a new Sainsbury's supermarket, under £5 million plans.

York-based developer S Harrison has agreed terms to buy the Grade II listed Groves Chapel in Clarence Street, after it was put up for sale by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The Trust bought the property, which was built in 1883 and also features a more recent two-storey extension to the rear, in the 1970s and had used it as a training centre and storage facility.

York Press:

The chapel as it looked around 1900. (Picture courtesy of yorkstories)


With the legalities of the deal now finalised S Harrison has revealed plans to extend and convert the building, creating 26 self-contained apartments on the upper floors and a 5000sq ft Sainsbury’s convenience store on the ground floor.

S Harrison director David Clancy said: "We are pleased to be in contract with Sainsbury’s for the ground floor retail space."

If City of York Council approves the plans, which are due to be submitted early next year, work on site will start in summer 2015.

The new Sainsbury’s store, which is set to create of up to 25 jobs, will be 1,000sq ft larger than the Sainsbury's Local in Micklegate. It would open in early 2016, when the apartments would also be completed.

The news comes as locals of The Punch Bowl pub opposite the Wesleyan Chapel, in the Groves, continue their campaign to save the pub amid reports Tesco is eyeing up the site.

Sainsbury’s acquisition manager Paul Sellers said: "We are always looking for new locations for our convenience stores and are delighted to be working with S Harrison to open a store at this location."

York property agent Richard Flanagan of Flanagan James and Carol Bailey, partner of healthcare firm Hempsons acted on behalf of York Teaching Hospital.

James Hayward, programme director of capital at York Hospital said: "The chapel has served us well for the past three decades but is now surplus to our requirements.

"We are delighted that a buyer has come forward who will ensure that the building continues to serve the community offering much needed retail provision and new homes, possibly for staff from the hospital itself and we can reinvest the money into improving healthcare services for the city."

The Groves Chapel was designed by architect W.J Morley of Bradford, and built at a cost of £5,721.