An historic chapel may be protected after an MP stepped into a row over its future.

The Department of Culture is now considering a request to make St Mary's chapel in Seaford a listed building.

The structure contains many important features, including a 14th Century font and a 17th Century altar.

It was formerly part of the all-boys' King's Mead School, which closed in the late 1960s and was converted into St Mary's Nursing Home.

Site owner Westminster Health Care is in talks with East Sussex County Council to raise money for a new 60-bed care facility.

If this goes ahead, the chapel is likely to be saved, either in its present form or as part of the care home.

Lewes MP Norman Baker has been at the heart of the campaign to save St Mary's.

He said: "Westminster Health Care is now well aware of the strong wish of many local people to see the chapel retained, and I believe they are looking at the matter seriously.

"It is indisputable that the building is in a poor state of repair, which makes it more difficult to secure its retention.

"But I am hopeful that the chapel may be saved in some form."