Building for the Future​ ProgressNewsFAQs

Building for the Future
FAQs

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact the team
building@dundonald.org

Top FAQs

What other plans for the future were considered (i.e. selling the Factory and buying a new site, finding a church that is currently not being used)?

A number of different options were considered mainly around different types of partial redevelopment on the current site (for example redeveloping the right hand side only, not the main auditorium). The project team considered that the costs of these outweighed the benefits and did not allow for the inclusion of the residential units. The idea of selling the site was considered in principle (as it would be of interest for residential development) but no alternative sites to move to and develop have been found so this is not something we have been able to progress to any extent.

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Does using a property developer to build the flats mean they will make millions out of our redevelopment project?

The Church is requiring the developer to take on board all the risk of the costs of the building increasing or the value of the sales of the flats decreasing. It is appropriate that the developer should be entitled to a profit for taking that risk. A normal profit percentage for a development of this type would be 20%. However, we are attempting to negotiate a development model that would reduce that to 10%.

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Why are we building flats, wont it be cheaper to just build a big church?

Including the residential units offsets some of the development cost, enabling us to create a ‘bigger’ church building. Without the residential units we have not been able to identify or propose a scheme that is affordable.

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What happens if construction costs rise?

The development model we are investigating would mean that the developer would take all the risk of construction costs rising. The Church’s contribution would not increase.

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When does the Church need the money?

In our discussions with developers we are investigating the possibility of phasing the Church’s payment of its contribution. However, the funds required would need to be committed before any development contracts are entered into. We are working to a development schedule where pledges would need to be honoured before Easter 2018.

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Can we afford the mortgage?

The increased mortgage does of course increase our ‘operating costs’. The church leadership have considered this in budget planning and forecasting and feel it is both appropriate and affordable.

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Is giving a developer profit appropriate when so many of us have given so sacrificially to fund the project?

Yes, because we want to appoint high quality professionals who need to be properly paid rather than take risks with inexperienced developers.

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Are there limits in the planning permission that will affect our use of the building?

The planning consent imposes various normal “good neighbour” restrictions which are similar to the restrictions that are currently in place through the existing planning consent for the Factory. The key restrictions commit the church to ending services/events by 22:00 and ensuring noise above a reasonable decibel threshold does not leak from the building. A full report on the restrictions will be made available on the church website shortly.:0

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Can an owner/tenant of a flat restrict what we do in Church?

It is not possible to prevent any individual from exercising their legal rights to complain about the use of the Church. Taking noise from the Church as an example, a tenant would need to prove either a claim in nuisance or what is known as a “breach of quiet enjoyment”. Both would be extremely difficult to substantiate so long as the Church operates normally and reasonably because they will be buying with advance knowledge that there will be a church below them. That said, the Church would need to act as a good neighbour. For example, if there was an event at the Church it would need to finish at 22:00 and people would need to leave in a manner respecting our neighbours. Likewise, the Church would need to ensure that the residential accesses and bin stores etc. were not blocked by unauthorised parking or storage.

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Building Design

How will we ensure noise pollution between church and the flats is mitigated?

The requirement to protect noise from the church below will be part of the design brief. The installation will be acoustically tested and monitored during the construction process, a statutory and Dundonald requirement.

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What other plans for the future were considered (ie. selling the Factory and buying a new site, finding a church that is currently not being used)?

A number of different options were considered mainly around different types of partial redevelopment on the current site (for example redeveloping the right hand side only, not the main auditorium). The project team considered that the costs of these outweighed the benefits and did not allow for the inclusion of the residential units. The idea of selling the site was considered in principle (as it would be of interest for residential development) but no alternative sites to move to and develop have been found so this is not something we have been able to progress to any extent.

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Will we still call the building "The Factory"?

The current name is linked to the history and heritage of the building.  We don’t know what the new building will be called yet.

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Does using a property developer to build Building Design the flats mean they will make millions out of our re-development project?

The Church is requiring the developer to take on board all the risk of the costs of the building increasing or the value of the sales of the flats decreasing. It is appropriate that the developer should be entitled to a profit for taking that risk. A normal profit percentage for a development of this type would be 20%. However, we are attempting to negotiate a development model that would reduce that to 10%.

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What happens if there are delays in completing the building?

The church will need to plan in contingency for meeting venues and operations for a delay scenario. The building contract/development agreement will include appropriate clauses apportioning financial compensation for delays.

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Will the main hall have windows in the roof like we have at the moment? And if so, will people be able to look down into the Church?

There will be roof lights but these are linear and not half the roof as we currently have. These have been angled away from the residential units so it is not possible to see into the main hall. The section on the planning drawings shows the proposals.

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Will staff be living in the flats?

We certainly hope that some church members or other Christian agencies may be able to buy a flat as an investment and let it to us at reduced rates for staff.

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Will there be a climbing wall?

There is space within the kids hall for a bouldering wall (horizontal climbing as opposed to vertical) but there are various health and safety aspects that need to be reviewed to ensure it is safely used.

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Does the planning consent restrict the use of the building in the future?

The planning system means that any new planning application would be assessed on its merits rather than based on previous applications and consents.

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Will there be a project manager?

The project team will consist of a Project Manager representing the developer. A Project Manager/Co-ordinator will also be appointed to represent Dundonald, along with some other key roles which will potentially be a combination of a dedicated staff member and church members with relevant experience.

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Do we really have to have flats in the new Building Design building?

The residential units are critical to the viability of the scheme. Without them we would either need to find significantly more (several million pounds) or build much less. Whilst there are many challenges to consider with the residential units, this has been recommended as the best solution to provide a Building for the Future.

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Costs/Finance

Why are we building flats, won't it be cheaper to just build a big church?

Including the residential units offsets some of the development cost, enabling us to create a ‘bigger’ church building. Without the residential units we have not been able to identify or propose a scheme that is affordable.

Read more

What happens if construction costs rise?

The development model we are investigating would mean that the developer would take all the risk of construction costs rising. The Church’s contribution would not increase.

Read more

Why does the Church need to sell any Costs/Finance properties when it is still renting other ones for staff?

Selling existing properties raises capital to fund the development costs. Without this capital we would need to find a significant alternative source of funding (eg giving) or be able to borrow more.

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What happens if the actual sales prices of the flats is less than expected?

We will enter into an agreement with a development partner before we commence the build. The development partner will take 100% of the risk on the value of the residential units.

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When does the Church need the money?

In our discussions with developers we are investigating the possibility of  phasing the Church’s payment of its contribution. However, the funds required would need to be committed before any development contracts are entered into. We are working to a development schedule where pledges would need to be honoured before Easter 2018.

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Do I get my money back if the project doesn't go ahead?

The Treasurer will be in touch with each donor should the project not proceed.

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Can we afford the mortgage?

The increased mortgage does of course increase our ‘operating costs’.  The church leadership have considered this in budget planning and forecasting and feel it is both appropriate and affordable.

Read more

Is giving a developer profit appropriate when so many of us have given so sacrificially to fund the project?

Yes, because we want to appoint high quality professionals who need to be properly paid rather than take risks with inexperienced developers.

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Will the new building cost more to run on a day to day basis?

One of the next stages in detailed design will be to model the operational costs of the building. However, the heating/cooling and insulation of the building will be modern and efficient and the residential lease service charges will also contribute to a fair proportion of the costs of maintaining the structure of the building as a whole.

Both should mean that operational costs will not be more onerous than at present. The management of the residential units will be paid for by the ground rent and service charge that will be paid by the owners of the flats.

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If I move away from the area will I be able to get my giving back?

If you wish to change your giving please contact the Treasurer.

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Who will buy the new flats?

The flats will be sold at open market prices. That could be to individual investors who are members or friends of the Church, charities or unconnected third parties.

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Kids & Youth

Is the kids and youth space growing as much as the main hall?

One of the key principles for the new building was flexibility and making use of all space both on a Sunday and mid-week. So whilst the kids rooms have other functions between Monday and Friday the overall increase in useful space for Sundays for the children is approximately 25% including the hall and 60% if the mezzanine is used.

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Will there be a climbing wall?

There is space within the kids hall for a bouldering wall (horizontal climbing as opposed to vertical) but there are various health and safety aspects that need to be reviewed to ensure it is safely used.

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Will the Church be selling the freehold of the Factory?

The preferred development model would not involve selling the freehold of the Factory. A lease of the airspace above the church would be created and the leases of the flats would be granted out of that lease.

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What happens if the building contractor goes bust?

We would be ensuring that we have performance guarantees from entities with significant financial assets or use a cash bond that we can access if the contractor goes bust.

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Will owners/tenants of the flats be able to complain about any noise coming from the Church?

It is not possible to prevent any individual from exercising their legal rights to complain about the use of the Church. Attempting to do so may not be enforceable in law (it affect the consumer rights of the tenant) and may have a negative affect on the value of the flat on sale. Taking noise from the Church as an example, a tenant would need to prove either a claim in nuisance or what is known as a “breach of quiet enjoyment”. Both would be extremely difficult to substantiate so long as the Church operates normally and reasonably because that will be buying with advance knowledge that there will be a church below them.

Read more

Are there limits in the planning permission that will affect our use of the building?

The planning consent imposes various normal “good neighbour” restrictions which are similar to the restrictions that are currently in place through the existing planning consent for the Factory. The key restrictions commit the church to ending services/events by 22:00 and ensuring noise above a reasonable decibel threshold does not leak from the building. A full report on the restrictions will be made available on the church website shortly.

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How long will the leases of the flats be for?

It is likely that the individual flats will be sold using a 125 year lease.

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Does BftF mean that the Church can't be redeveloped in the future?

In reality, future redevelopment of the site would be impractical. It would involve either buying adjoining land and linking any development on it to the ground and first floors of the church or buying back all of the flats.

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How will we avoid having 'difficult' tenants who make life hard for us as a church (e.g. noise pollution, anti-social behaviour etc)?

The lease of the units will contain market standard rules and regulations designed to ensure that all tenants behave well to one another. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world and there may be times where there is an inconsiderate neighbour in occupation of one of the flats. In that case the Church and the other tenants will be able to enforce the restrictions that will be in the leases or ask the Local Authority to intervene using its powers to stop anti-social behaviour.

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Can an owner/tenant of a flat restrict what we do in Church?

It is not possible to prevent any individual from exercising their legal rights to complain about the use of the Church. Taking noise from the Church as an example, a tenant would need to prove either a claim in nuisance or what is known as a “breach of quiet enjoyment”. Both would be extremely difficult to substantiate so long as the Church operates normally and reasonably because they will be buying with advance knowledge that there will be a church below them. That said, the Church would need to act as a good neighbour. For example, if there was an event at the Church it would need to finish at 22:00 and people would need to leave in a manner respecting our neighbours. Likewise, the Church would need to ensure that the residential accesses and bin stores etc. were not blocked by unauthorised parking or storage.

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Relocation

What is the plan for Sunday services during the build?

We are in negotiations to move the 9, 10:45 and 4 congregations back to Dundonald School (which has a large hall and improved facilities) and the 7 congregation to St Andrew’s parish church (in both areas which we once were)

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Have the costs of the "time out of the building" been properly estimated?

We are assuming we will be out of the building for around 16 months. This is a realistic assumption based on discussions with professionals. We have made estimates for the costs of finding venues for Sunday gatherings, office staff and other ministries. Inevitably however there will be some things that can’t happen whilst the building is being developed.

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Will we recombine morning services?

In our current plans for the relocation we do not intend to recombine the morning services.

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Schedule

When can we realistically plan to be back in the building?

16 – 18 months from commencement of building works (demolition)

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Social Engagement

Will the Café be open to the public?

The possibility has been carefully considered, with a cost/benefit analysis conducted (incl. issues of cost, staffing, availability, purpose etc.) but we don’t think it makes sense and so there are no plans to open the café to the public on a commercial basis. We do, however, want to make the cafe space a welcoming and ‘inviting’ feature within the new building that encourages outsiders to come in. We’re just not intending to sell skinny lattes!

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Will people be able to get married in the Church?

Possibly, but there are a number of angles to consider here and as yet no decision has been made.

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What are we doing during the build to ensure the project doesn't become a local nuisance?

We always want to be good neighbours and so we’ll take this issue very seriously. Much of it will be down to the contractors, (they will be on site, we won’t!). They will need to comply with industry regulations for considerate construction and we will work closely with them to ensure that the build phase of the project is completed as quickly and as quietly as possible.

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How will the new building serve the local community?

First & foremost, by facilitating and hosting gospel ministry so that people can hear the good news of Jesus in a language and a context that meets them where they are at. As with The Factory (only with more space and better facilities) we will continue to use our building to serve many different groups (parents & toddlers, senior citizens, young workers, families, singles, internationals, the bereaved, the hurting and the vulnerable) by providing a safe and welcoming space for friendships, questions and engagement with the gospel. We hope that a more welcoming and outsider-friendly facade as well as better facilities within will be a powerful combination. We also hope to continue providing a space for friends in the community including: Blood Donations, Local Counsellors, Local Police and other groups.

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Will the building be able to be used for other "community" uses during the week?

Absolutely. The building design is flexible and we hope the facility will be used for a variety of community uses including our current outreach with Bunnies, elderly teas, blood banks, polling stations etc.

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Travel & Transport

What is the plan for parking?

We will continue to promote sustainable travel and encourage considerate parking via notices, display boards and on the website. We will also introduce a Travel Plan with a nominated Coordinator to oversee monitoring and seek improvement. A separate travel plan will be developed for the residential development which will have no associated parking.

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Vision

Can I get involved practically?

Yes – when we get closer to the time there will probably be a number of practical working groups necessary.

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What is wrong with the Factory - I can't see us growing fast enough to fill a new one?

This building is aging, is too hot or too cold in different seasons, is over- crowded for the children’s ministry and does not have an inviting frontage. It is likely that the space will encourage more growth.

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How do we know BftF is what God wants us to do?

It’s good to read Bible passages about giving (e.g. 2 Cor 8&9) and pray about the implications for us. You can trust that the church leadership all think that such passages call us to give generously for gospel ministry here at Dundonald.

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Could the giving be used better in other ministries (church planting)?

A stronger Dundonald church will ultimately resource more church-planting and more people will feel responsible for their own church than more plants.

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If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to contact the team
building@dundonald.org

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