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A STRIKING 19th Century chapel in Llanelli can’t be turned into a house, planning officers have decided.

Andrea Jones had sought permission to convert the Nazareth Chapel vestry into a three-bedroom residence, with a large open kitchen and sitting room.

Carmarthenshire Council planners said the proposal contravened a planning policy because the applicant had not given an undertaking to provide a financial contribution towards affordable housing.

The methodist chapel, on Parc Gritto, Llwynhendy, was built in 1865 and rebuilt 62 years later.

Ms Jones’ application from June 2017 said work to create the home had begun in January that year but had not been completed.

When consulted on the vestry conversion plans, Welsh Water said Ms Jones would need to ensure no surface water from the site got into the sewerage network.

Llanelli Rural Council did not object to the application, subject to Welsh Water’s requirements being met.

Speaking two years ago when the application was submitted, rural and county councillor Sharen Davies said: “I’m glad to see it’s not being knocked down – a lot of people living in the area have fond memories of the chapel.

“I know the lady involved has invited people to go in and have a look around.”

Bynea resident Gwyn Morris Richards, who was baptised at the chapel, spoke in 2017 about his family’s enduring connections to the building.

“Before me, my parents and their parents went there as well,” he said.

“It was a big part of my life. In those days, in the 1940s, the school side was very much a big thing.

“There would be Sunday schools and tea parties, plays and dramas and magic lantern nights.”

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