Plans lodged for £3m project to transform Crieff church into luxury flats

An iconic Crieff church is in line for a new lease of life if plans are approved for a £3 million project that could see it converted into nine luxury apartments.

Property firm Webster Homes has announced that, subject to a successful planning application, it is to transform the Old South Church in Comrie Street.

The redevelopment would see nine high-specification apartments created in the A-listed building with its landmark spire.

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The construction work would be carried out by Webster Homes’ contracting arm and sister company Webster Developments.

Old South Church closed as a church in 1964 but was used by the Church of Scotland as a residential lay training centre until 2001, and later became an antiques and craft centre until 2006.

In 2014, building firm Corryard tried to turn the structure into a boutique hotel through a crowdfunding scheme, but this did not materialise and it has lain derelict ever since.

It was listed on the Buildings at Risk register before being purchased by Daniel Webster.

Webster Homes has said many of the original features are set to be retained, including the stained glass windows, oak beams and the wooden bannisters.

It is also hoped that the church spire can be incorporated into the design of a unique apartment, and an original balcony at the rear of the church will be retained to offer residents views across the hills.

Subject to being given the green light from Perth and Kinross Council planners, work on site is not expected to begin until later in the year, with the development being officially launched to market in late autumn.

Mr Webster, managing director of the Webster Group, said: “We want to do justice to this local landmark by creating top-end, spacious abodes which will effortlessly blend old with new, whilst paying homage to the history and heritage of the building.”

Mr Webster continued: “Churches like this are extremely popular to live in nowadays for discerning buyers looking for character features, but additionally offering them every comfort of modern and contemporary living.

“As such, we expect this development to be very eagerly-anticipated.

“It’s not every day you will get the opportunity to secure such a unique home in a spectacular setting like this.”

Built in 1882 from a late Scots Gothic style design by J J Stevenson, Old South Church was inspired by Dunblane Cathedral.

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Although designed by Stevenson, it was Robert Ewan, a Glasgow architect, and Hew Miller, the factor at Ochtertyre, who supervised the construction.

Built of Alloa stone with exterior woodwork made from teak, the total construction cost at the time was around £5000.

Originally constructed as a Free Church with seating for 800 people, it became the South United Free Church in 1900.

In 1926 a memorial window to G Strathairn was added to the church vestibule by Douglas Strachan, depicting scenes from The Pilgrim’s Progress.

In 1929 Sir Robert Lorimer made minor alterations and additions, including a new stone communion table.

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