Stroud Town Council has decided not to buy a historic chapel of rest because it would be too expensive to repair and refurbish.
The chapel building in Bisley Road cemetery is owned by Stroud District Council. It is currently used mainly as a grounds maintenance depot by the Town Council.
The Town Council had an option to acquire the Victorian building for community use, with one part potentially to be used to generate income to cover running costs.
The District Council offered to sell the chapel to the Town Council for £175,000.
The Town Council secured a £5,000 grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund to enable the viability of purchasing the Chapel to be explored.
Following a public consultation, plans were developed based on one chapel being used for community purposes and the other as a holiday home.
But the cost estimate of doing this, plus carrying out essential repairs, was £684,000.
“Sadly this is way beyond anything the Town Council and our precept payers could afford,” said Town Mayor Kevin Cranston.
“To fund buying it from the District Council and then to invest in repairs and refurbishment would mean a near doubling of the precept or massive cuts elsewhere.”
The Town Council’s Green Spaces team is due to move out the old chapel building in the next month.
The chapel and cemetery in Old Bisley Road were created in the 1850s. Stroud Burial Board purchased a six-acre site at the edge of town and commissioned two Chapels of Rest and an entrance lodge to be built in Cotswold stone.
The cemetery was divided into three sections: one for Conformists, one for Non-Conformists and the third for paupers of the Parish. The old cemetery is now a nature reserve, one of a few in the country based in a cemetery.
Earlier this year the Town Council agreed to take ownership of three of Stroud’s most important landmarks: Bank Gardens, Sims Clock and Bisley Road Cemetery.
These are due to be transferred from Stroud District Council to the Town Council in the next month, subject to surveys.