Plans to expand village cemetery due to coronavirus outbreak granted

St Mary's Church in Bacton next to where the cemetery will be expanded. Picture: PHIL MORLEY

St Mary's Church in Bacton next to where the cemetery will be expanded. Picture: PHIL MORLEY - Credit: Archant

Plans to expand a village cemetery amid fears that deaths connected to coronavirus would mean it could become full have been approved.

Bacton Parish Council made the application to change the use of a plot of land currently used as allotments to a cemetery at the start of April.

They said the expansion was required due to “very limited” space which had become an increasing problem with the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Only six unreserved plots are currently available and the expansion is hoped to provide another 60 spaces.

After carrying out investigations into potential water contamination, the risk of which was concluded as “low risk”, Mid Suffolk District Council granted the application.

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The piece of land, adjacent to St Mary’s Church, was originally purchased by Bacton Parish Council in 1922 with the intention to use it as a cemetery.

In 1975, the council submitted a planning application to change part of this land to a cemetery - which was granted.

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The council now says the current space is nearly full.

A spokesman from the parish council said: “Bacton parish council will soon be able to extend its cemetery after receiving permission from the district council. Councillors believe a Garden of Reflection would be particularly appropriate here and hope to draw on the ideas and financial support of local people.

“With the current Covid-19 pandemic, it is now a requirement of the community to extend the cemetery into this unused land to allow for interments into the historical parish Bacton.

“Whilst the parish council would like to change the use of the site in its entirety, we would like to hold a part of it to use for a garden of reflection.”

It is understood that Bacton Parish Council agreed at a public meeting held on April 6, 2020, to make the application.

In assessing the planning documents, planning officers said that the expansion provided the provision of a “clear social infrastructure requirement of the village and administrative requirement to provide by the Parish Council”.

Concluding their report, planning officers said: “The extension of this graveyard is considered to be a logical place and without any significant harm on the surroundings.”

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