The controversial sale of a Kimberley landmark was rubberstamped this week as Broomhill Lodge was sold at auction for £105,000.
The three-bedroom house was built in around 1860 and was the cemetery keeper’s cottage until it was passed on to the town council in 1882. The decision to sell was made by the town council.
Campaign groups have formed and town councillors have quit recently — partly in protest over the move.
At the time the Advertiser went to press, the identity of the property’s new owner was not known by the council or campaign group.
Shane Easom, a former town councillor, said: “I don’t understand why anyone would sell a property when the market’s like it is.
“The council say it doesn’t need the money so why sell? Something doesn’t make sense about the whole thing.
“The council has not just lost an asset, it has lost an income, that building was rented out and made money and now the people of Kimbereley will have to fill that gap.”
Chairman of the Kimberley Residents Association, Darren Warner, added: “We did everything we could to try and stop the sale and we are extremely disappointed that it was sold for only £105,000.
“After renovation and in a few years, when things pick up, I believe that property would have been worth an awful lot more, it doesn’t make any sense.
“One of the things I feel the council has completely overlooked is the sensitivity of the site. The property is in the middle of a cemetery that is still in use.
“Relatives have loved ones there and visit the cemetery and garden of rest regularly, and I don’t think the council have considered them in all of this.”
Chairman of Kimberley Town Council, Cllr Jim McDonald, told the Advertiser that a decision was made to sell the historic home as it was costing too much money and needed renovation.
But when pushed on how much the renovation would cost he answered: “I can’t give a detailed figure on how much needed spending on it to do it up properly, but it wasn’t just a case of painting it and redecorating, it needed a lot of work doing.”
When asked about selling the house during the current property price-slump, he replied: “I think that the council made the decision that now is as good a time as any.”
He added: “The money from the sale will be used for capital projects. I hope the buyer is from Kimberley and plans to live in the house with their family.”