April 16, 2023 11.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Disused Boston village church set to be converted into art retreat

It’s been left deteriorating since 2014

By Local Democracy Reporter

A disused chapel on the outskirts of Boston could be converted into an art studio if plans are approved by East Lindsey District Council.

Since being made redundant in 2014, the Church of St Peter Peter and St Paul in Midville has fallen into disrepair, but one developer is looking to give it more than just a new lick of paint.

A new proposal from the East London-based Fisher Gallery looks to transform the space into residential and holiday accommodation, housing creatives from all over the country under an artist residency programme.

The proposed floor plan | Image: East Lindsey District Council

“Whilst the church had been marketed for a period of years for commercial use and none was found we believe that its use as an artist studio with accommodation would be ideal for the building,” read initial planning documents.

“Keeping the open space inside as unchanged as possible would help to preserve it and having the possibility to on occasion exhibit work and make the church open to the general public on occasion, would keep it alive as a space in the community.”

Artists would be invited to stay in the former church for residencies of varying duration where they can be inspired by the beautiful neighbouring countryside.

The exterior of the building would mostly remain unchanged.

Headstones directly around the site would need to be moved to the side, although this is yet to be agreed with the Church Commissioners office.

Plans also involve creating a car-parking area north of the site and a new driveway along the northern edge of the property so as to not disturb the main pathway.

Pews would be removed to make way for the art gallery | Photo: East Lindsey District Council

“The proposal of the conversion of the Church of St Peter and St Paul to create a space for artist’s residencies is an opportunity to preserve the building which is deteriorating whilst keeping it as close as possible to the original state,” concluded the developers in their design and access statement.

“No other use has been found for it in the community despite the marketing exercise and the redevelopment would save the building from further deterioration.

“We believe this proposal would allow the church to have a new lease of life, for it be used creatively, for it to be a new cultural space and help to bring young people to the area, all aspects that speak to the local area planning policies as well as bringing a heritage asset back into use.”

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