A DISUSED chapel could be given fresh life as a family home.

Michael Tarn, from Egglesburn, near Middleton-in-Teesdale, is seeking planning consent to convert Eggleston Baptist Church in Egglesburn into a three bedroom house. The grade two listed building dates back to 1872 and was added to the Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Importance in1987.

It retains key Baptist features, namely the lack of hierarchical seating, simple decor, modest dias and a full immersion Baptism tank within the chapel floor. The chapel is well-maintained but now stands empty due to its rural location and falling congregation numbers

The proposal will retain the open space of the ground floor as a key feature. The idea is to preserve the character of the building, while creating an open planning living and kitchen area.

Mr Tarn’s planning agent Christopher Fish said the plans had been developed to provide a viable use to secure the building’s future without “compromising the important characteristics for which it has been listed.”

He said: “Alterations will be required to create a dwelling within the chapel building however these have been achieved by concentrating the main spatial changes to lesser rooms and by retaining the scale and from of the main body of the church.

“Additional spaces have been created within the main body of the church by inserting individual structures which are independent and make limited alterations to the fabric of the building.”

Comments can be made at durham.gov.uk until Thursday, January 11.