Powys County Council is preparing to sell off the two chapels at Brecon Cemetery. The chapels were grade II listed in April 2005.
The Council has said that the chapels have “been declared surplus to the Council’s requirements following approval of the Cemeteries Project Board. The disposal procedure has been instigated and in consultation with the Strategic Asset Board and Cllr Phyl Davies it is considered that the most appropriate marketing will be via private treaty which will allow potential purchasers an opportunity to discuss their proposals for the property with the Council and the planning authority and CADW as they are Listed.”
Cllr Matthew Dorrance was notified of the proposals by Powys County Council’s property team.
Matthew is really concerned about the proposals and says:
“Many families in Brecon, just like mine, have people they care about resting in Brecon Cemetery. The proposal to sell the chapels with no consultation or information about what they could be used for will worry people who have laid the ones they care about to rest there.”
Matthew has been quick to act and he has already taken the issue up with the Council to get answers about their plans.
Matthew raised a series of questions with the Council:
QUESTION: What will be permitted use if sold?
POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL RESPONSE: We are keeping an open mind with regards alternative uses as clearly any alternative use will require Change of Use and Listed Building consent. Interested parties will be asked to outline what they propose to use the buildings for and this will form part of the decision process. Any decision to agree a sale will require a Cabinet Member decision and as local Member you will be given an opportunity to comment. Possible alternative uses may be residential, Chapel of Rest, storage, offices etc but it always surprises me how inventive people can be.
QUESTION: What will be the impact on the cemetery?
POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL RESPONSE: The cemetery will function as it does now. The reuse of the buildings may mean that the buildings are permanently occupied which will help with site security. The purchasers will be granted appropriate rights of way over the roadway with appropriate clauses to ensure they do not cause a nuisance to the retained Cemetery.
QUESTION: What consultation has there been/will there be?
POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL RESPONSE: There has been no consultation on the proposal to market the building and there is no intention to do so. There is no change to the service provided from the cemetery. The Councils Corporate Asset Policy has been followed in this case. The listed buildings will require significant maintenance and the service budget has a responsibility to reduce its liability to ensure it can concentrate on core business.
QUESTION: What is a private treaty?
POWYS COUNTY COUNCIL RESPONSE: It is planned to place the buildings on the open market and seek to negotiate with interested parties a sale (subject to contract). This sales mechanism as opposed to a public auction will allow the Council a greater level of insight and knowledge of the proposed reuse of the building and it can tailor the terms of the sale and timing accordingly.
“Sadly, Powys County Council has made it clear that it will not be undertaking a consultation with residents or the families of those resting at the cemetery about its plans to sell off the grade II listed chapels. However, I want to know your views about the proposals and I will be making sure that voices of people in our community are heard by the Council.”
Please let Matthew know what you think using the form below.