THE derelict Lodge next to the Down Cemetery in Trowbridge has been finally sold at auction.

The three-bedroomed Lodge was sold to a local couple last Thursday with an auction price tag of £150,000.

Kevin Yeandel lived at the lodge for four years from 1986 to 1990 when his mother Mary Yeandel worked at West Wilts District Council.

He said this week that had he been allowed to rent the Lodge in 2017, he could have saved it from becoming a boarded-up ruin and increased its market value.

Mr Yeandel, 50, who now lives in Macclesfield, said: “Had I been given opportunity to become the temporary keyholder, the property would today be in a liveable condition, worth tens of thousands more than the auction price of £150,000.

“Wiltshire Council would have received thousands in rent that could have been put towards their services - including money to be used to protect the homeless.”

Trowbridge councillor Edward Kirk says Wiltshire Council has probably lost more than £80,000 by not renting out the Lodge over the years.

He said: “In April 2018 I had established from the Council that costs have been about £12,000 in Council Tax and £4,500 in maintenance for the period.

“Add this together with the missed rental income, taking into account letting charges and a void period, I would suggest that rent would have been at least £50,000 over the period, so the total cost is probably in excess of £66,500. As council taxpayers we have now probably lost over £80,000 to date.”

Last month, Trowbridge town councillors said they did not wish take on the cemetery management from Wiltshire Council unless the Lodge was included.