Anger over auction of old lodge
A CIVIC society has slammed a town council for selling a "landmark" from the 1880s.
Broomhill Lodge, in Broomhill Road, is to go under the hammer next Wednesday with a guide price of £90,000.
The Greasley and District Civic Society has said Kimberley Town Council is wrong to auction off the former cemetery keeper's lodge.
But the town council has said keeping the lodge would be a drain on resources and the money raised would benefit the town.
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Darren Warner, from the society, said: "The society believe that the selling of this public asset is a short-sighted misconceived idea, particularly in the present downturn in the property market.
"Considering the fact that it has been a Kimberley asset for 130 years – through two World Wars, countless recessions and depressions – it seems incredible that we now offload this very important local landmark to an uncertain buyer for a price well below it's real value to the community.
"It belongs to the people of Kimberley, bought by them, maintained by them, for Kimberley."
Mr Warner, who is also part of the Save Our Brewery campaign, was critical of the lack of consultation on the plans.
He said: "With very little public awareness and no consultation on such a big item as selling assets, the society feels this has been a huge mistake by the present council."
Margaret Freeman, of Eastwood Road, Kimberley, said she could understand why the council would want the money from any sale.
The 62-year-old added: "If it sells for more than £90,000 then that's quite a lot of money coming in to the council.
"But at the same time, you have to protect old buildings like this – I would hate to see it sold just to see it lose all its character.
"We've got a lot of history in Kimberley with the brewery so we need to keep that alive."
David Nunn, vice chairman of the council, said: "The decision was taken democratically by a vote at the council and any money raised from the sale will go towards projects for the people of Kimberley.
"The feeling among the council is that it would be better to sell it – the features and historical aspect will remain, as planning rules will prevent anyone from damaging the character of the building."
The auction will take place at the Gateway Hotel in Nuthall Road, from 2.30pm.