Plush flats at site of Leeds church

A landmark Leeds church building has been demolished to make way for a luxury apartment complex.

The former Congregational Church in High Street, Boston Spa, was built in 1875 but had not been used as a place of worship for more than six decades.

It was taken over by Lister's, a family furniture and furnishings business, in 1947 and traded there until three years ago, when the showroom closed.

The building had begun to fall into disrepair and had even become a target for vandals before it was taken over by Melholme Developments.

The company has planning approval to build a complex of 10 luxury apartments on the site.

'The Congie', as the church building was known locally, was built 135 years ago, designed by a Bradford architect.

According to local historian Beatrice M Scott, members of the Ebenezer Chapel and the Primitive Methodists joined members of the Congregational Church for worship there.

The original building had a tall tower and spire, but these were demolished in the early 1960s.

The new developers had originally wanted to turn the former showroom into a supermarket but plans were unpopular with locals, who feared the impact on local small traders.

The firm then dropped the convenience store idea and came back with a plan for the flats. Local politicians have praised the firm's willingness to take on board local concerns and "sympathetic and exemplary" consultation.