There are calls for an auction house to postpone the sale of the old chapel in Pistyll, near Nefyn, to give a community group enough time to raise money to buy the property.
Capel Bethania in Pistyll, also known as Capel Tom Nefyn Williams in memory of the poet and preacher, is expected to be auctioned between March 22 and March 24, angering locals who believe the building should be in the hands of the public.
Auction House UK had advertised the Pistyll property on the Llŷn Peninsula as a ‘holiday home’ in an ad that draws attention to its seaside location.
Their website and social media posts also explain that planning is already in place for a four-bedroom vacation home on the site.
Activists have now set up a Facebook group and fundraising page via the GoFundMe site and have so far raised £ 10,800 of a £ 120,000 goal for the cause.
Osian Jones, who created the fundraising page, said: “Following the recent news that Tom Nefyn’s former Bethania Chapel, Pistyll, Llyn, is being sold at public auction with a building permit to transform it. he formerly a holiday home chapel, we believe this important chapel should be kept for the community, for the benefit of the local community and the Welsh nation, and to protect our cultural and social heritage.
“We are committed to rebuilding, replanting our communities, our country, our language, in the spirit of Tom Nefyn, and in a spirit of cooperation and cohabitation with our brothers and sisters in order to build just and equal communities.
“If, as a fund, we are successful in achieving our goals, we will work closely with the local community to establish cooperative and community ownership of this historic building.
Capel Bethania Pistyll was built in 1875 by the people of Pistyll.
According to the Facebook group, titled “Achub Capel Tom Nefyn Pistyll rhag ei droi yn Ty Haf” (Saving Capel Tom Nefyn Pistyll from being turned into a vacation home), local residents felt that when the building was bought, the buyer intended to live there themselves.
Le candidat de Plaid Cymru Dwyfor Meirionnydd Parliament, Mabon ap Gwynfor, souhaite acheter la propriété.
He said: “The fate of Bethania, the former chapel of Twm Nefyn, has caused quite a stir.
“As we see our communities suffering from the volume of second homes and vacation homes, here is a local historic building being sold as an opportunity to develop yet another vacation home.
“There is an ongoing campaign for a community group to submit an offer to purchase the property. They must have enough time to promote their campaign, so I ask that the auction be postponed.
“I understand that the building permit for the chapel only authorizes a holiday home, due to planning policies enforced by the Welsh Labor government.
“It would be extremely welcome to see a community group take ownership of the property and return the money for any initiative to develop local housing.
Each North Wales Live newsletter delivers the latest breaking news, what’s on the hottest events and talking points straight to your inbox.
For more information on how to subscribe, click here.
“The case raises further questions about the planning policies of the Welsh government.
“I have repeated on several occasions that it is urgent to limit the number of second homes and vacation homes in areas where there is a significant proliferation. The Welsh government must consider this as an option. ”
The auction house has been asked for comment.
To have your say on this article, use our comments section below.