Telford News

Concern over Council’s decision to sell property

Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council have put one of their assets up for sale, to shore up their finances.

The property, Cemetery Lodge, used to be accommodation for the Cemetery Warden, until they retired. The home on Hadley Park Road is on Rightmove with local agents DB Roberts, for £350,000.

From the sales particulars “Cemetary [sic] Lodge” is a charming period detached house located within the grounds of Hadley / leegomery[sic] cemetary [sic]. The property has recently been rurbished [sic] bringing this beautiful historic building upto modern day standards.”

Not everyone thinks this is in the best interests of the area.

Telford Live! has seen documents suggesting that around £100,000 has been spent extending and improving the property in the last four years. The closed meeting where it was agreed to put the property on market, was held earlier this year.

After a tip-off, we asked the Council for a statement, which was declined. Two days later, a press release was issued, announcing the decision had been made but we understand two councillors abstained..

A spokesperson for Hadley and Leegomery Parish Council said: “The cemetery is an important part of all of our lives and we will ensure that it continues to be well looked after, providing a space for reflection and to remember loved ones.

“It is not unusual for cemetery lodges to be owned privately. The sale of the lodge could raise hundreds of thousands of pounds towards projects that will improve our neighbourhood and see the costs of maintaining the building also re-invested into the community.

“We will be consulting residents about how this money used.”

“The decision was made in a private session due to the link between the use of the lodge and a contract of employment.”

We asked the Council if they had considered renting the property. This would retain ownership for future generations as well as generate an income for the council, who year after year have been dipping into reserves to balance their books.

The Clerk responded ‘All options were considered and a resolution was made’. It is estimated that the rental on the substantial property would be in the region of £1000 per month.

Some residents have also voiced concerns, with one trying to get the decision to sell, overturned. Paul Savage is trying to get councillors to support a Special Motion. He said “The parish councillors make decisions for the parish, they mostly get those decisions correct and the wider community support the actions taken. On rare occasions decisions are taken without a full understanding of the emotions and feelings of the community and these decisions are in opposition to the wider community.”

A petition against the decision has already attracted over 750 signatures.

Pic: Google Street View

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