asked Her Majesty's Government:What property they own in Northern Ireland which is leased to a church for religious activity; when each such property was purchased; and, in each case, what is the cost of the lease per year. [HL1652]
The Department of Finance and Personnel has a licence agreement with the Elim Pentecostal Church, Bloomfield Road, Bangor for use of the Rathgael House office car park, Bangor. The car park has been in Government ownership for circa 30 years and can be used only for car parking by members of the church congregation or their guests attending church services on a Sunday. The current licence has a fee of £1,750 per annum. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development leases Castlewellan Castle, Castlewellan Forest Park, as a Christian conference centre. The property was acquired in 1967. The lease rental is £850 per annum. The Department for Regional Development's Water Service has leased land adjacent to the Church of the Resurrection, Cavehill Road, Belfast to the church solely for use as a car park. The land was acquired over 100 years ago and attracts a yearly rent of £312.