Former library and chapel declared surplus by council

ANOTHER former library site and a cemetery chapel are among buildings being declared surplus by Tameside Council.

What was once Waterloo Library in Ashton and the facility at the main graveyard in Mossley are on a list of assets which will be deemed unneeded by the authority.

However, it insisted it is not ‘washing its hands’ of them, even though the latter is already earmarked by a local funeral company.

Mossley Cemetery

The former Waterloo Library on Taunton Road stood empty since 2003 and was demolished three years later after outline planning permission was given to develop houses.

However, a development brief in 2008 did not see the area put on the market and it has remained vacant since.

Now it is likely to be declared surplus, leaving it open to be bought by a developer, after an idea put forward by local councillors to transfer ownership to the adjoining Waterloo Primary School with a view to improving drop off and pick up arrangements did not progress because of a lack of funding.

A meeting of Tameside Council’s executive cabinet also agreed to a similar process for the chapel at Mossley Cemetery.

Mossley Cemetery and chapel

That is likely to clear the way for the structure, built in the late 19th century and now in a state of disrepair, to be converted.

A report states: “The council has recently received an enquiry from a local undertaker wishing to use the property as a chapel of rest and it is believed this use is compatible with the user covenant and would bring the property back into beneficial use.

“It is suggested therefore that the property be disposed of by way of a long lease, say 25 years, limiting the use to those compatible with the freehold income and securing the refurbishment of the property and a longer-term income stream to the council.

“If the council does not dispose, the property will continue to deteriorate and the council will need either to fund repairs, with no beneficial use to follow, or demolish this asset, which in the medium term will become the only option.”

Also on the list is Denton Nursery on Cemetery Road, which was previously occupied by the council’s Green Spaces team as a nursery.

However, heating costs meant the continued use of the site was considered increasingly unviable and they moved out in February 2014.

Despite the decision to approve the list, Cllr Oliver Ryan said this does not mean Tameside Council is just dropping the areas.

Cllr Oliver Ryan

He said: “We’ve undertaken significant consultation with councillors and members of the community on a number of these sites.

“By adding something as surplus to requirement doesn’t mean the council is washing its hands of the building.

“What it does mean is that we’re looking at options available to us.”

Paul Smith, Tameside Council’s assistant director of strategic property, added: “This will help generate vital funding, which means we can consider and move forward with more investment and regeneration in the borough.

“It provides us with opportunities to deliver much needed housing and create local jobs for communities.”

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