A historic but run down cottage at Graves Park is to be sold off by Sheffield Council – despite campaigners’ protests.
Plans to sell the 17th century Cobnar Cottage, on Cobnar Road, Norton Lees, for £80,000 were put on hold last year for 12 months to allow the Friends of Graves Park to come up with viable alternative uses.
A meeting between the Friends and council bosses is scheduled to take place next week – and unless an affordable alternative is put forward the sale will go ahead. But the Friends say they were told all of their ideas would require a full business plan before councillors would listen to any details about them.
The group is concerned the sale would set a precedent for the sale of other park buildings. The council says its intention to sell the cottage, which has been empty since 2006, has been backed by the Charity Commission.
Caroline Dewar, chair of the Friends, said it has been estimated it would cost around £160,000 to fully repair. The Friends originally wanted to raise money to repair the cottage and rent it to somebody working for the parks department – but this idea was rejected, leading alternatives to be explored.
She said: “We wanted to discuss ideas but they wanted to see full business plans before they would be prepared to consider them. We can’t do a business plan for three to four ideas, it is a lot of work for a community group.”
One proposal is allowing an artist to live upstairs, with a workshop open to the public downstairs.
Coun Isobel Bowler said: “In the absence of a detailed plan, the trustees will enact the decision to put the cottage on the market for the benefit of the park. All proceeds will be reinvested in Graves Park.”