Chapel plan is now scrapped

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Controversial plans to turn Kimberley Cemetery Chapel into a social hub will be scrapped after a local residents association was voted onto the town council.

Kimberley Residents Association had always fiercely protested plans to change the use of the chapel, put forward by previous councillors.

And now, the association – the leading party on the council – say the plans will be scrapped and the chapel will simply be restored for its original intent and purpose.

Cllr Shane Easom, the vice chairman of the association, said: “We didn’t want them to mess with the interiors of the chapel like they were planning to do.

“It’s supposed to be a tranquil place for people to visit in the cemetery.”

The Kimberley Residents Association was formed a couple of years ago to fight several proposals being put forward by the town council at the time – the main one being plans to turn the chapel into something for the community.

Although plans were never finalised, one of the ideas was a youth centre.

Cllr Easom said when it came to election time, the group thought they could go on fighting, or try to put decisions affecting the town and its people into their own hands.

“We thought we could have another four years just arguing about it, or try and do something about it,” he said.

Ten members of the residents association were voted on to the town council.

Over the last two years the association fought hard to stop the plans going ahead – arranging public meetings, getting the local MP involved and getting 800 signatures on a petition.

Cllr Easom said: “We had overwhelming support for these plans to not go ahead. But the council was just going to plough on. We couldn’t believe how bloody-minded they were being. They had no public support for it.”