The news has sparked alarm on social media with Tina Hewitt commenting on Facebook: “Many of my loved ones are buried here. I am very concerned. This should be a place of peace and respect. I only hope it remain so. Council members, hang your heads in shame.”
Peter Wright posted: “Why is there no consultation with the relatives of the deceased. How can the council stoop so low to make a bit of money?”
Paul Rough wrote: “What’s happened with the £25million to regenerate Staveley? Surely a bit could have been put aside to do up the chapel?”
A spokesperson for the borough council said: "The former Staveley Cemetery Chapel is a heritage asset which requires investment to safeguard it for future generations. The council has not had a formal use for this building for around a decade and has no plans to use it in future. The sale of this chapel is similar to the one in Spital Cemetery which was sold for the conversion to residential use. Selling this asset provides an opportunity for it to be brought back into viable use and generate revenue that can support other crucial services across the borough.
"The sale will be on a long lease basis, with the council retaining the freehold. This will provide the council with a degree of control over the building’s future use and the activities of the purchaser to ensure they do not conflict with the ongoing use of the cemetery.”
On the Derbyshire TImes Facebook site, Susie Jeannie said: “It needs renovation, it’s a beautiful building. The only idea I can think of as very few people worship anymore is a coffee shop. A place where people can go to reflect on their loved ones and appreciate a warm drink. Maybe a chapel again for funeral services only. Just praying and hoping this falls into the right hands.”