Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Memoranda

Memorandum by Whitchurch Parish Council (CEM 07)

  With reference to your Press Notice and my recent telephone conversation, Whitchurch Parish Council would like to make the following comments in response to some of the questions raised.

    1.  The Condition of existing cemeteries:

    2.  Long-term planning for new cemeteries and burial space.

    3.  The funding and economic viability of cemeteries, including funding from National Lottery distributing bodies.

  Whitchurch Parish Council's cemetery was opened in 1952, and the Council have been taking steps to investigate the possibility of extending its cemetery since January 1995, and have accumulated an extensive file on the actions which have taken place over the years.

  First of all there is agricultural land on one side of the existing cemetery and a pony paddock on the other side, with ease of access to either from the existing cemetery. The investigations which have taken place so far include:

  Grant Funding—Investigating mains services in the adjacent fields—Contacting the land owners of both sides for possible purchase of additional land—District Valuations on adjacent lands—enquiring about the Water Table Level of adjacent fields—Obtaining the services of an Architect to assess and report on the two options of adjacent fields, preparing and submitting applications for planning approval, and development of the site, together with proposed layout of graves—Letters and contact with the owners of the adjacent sites to establish possible purchase of land for extension. However, neither land owner wished to sell the land at this time, and investigations have taken place with B&NES to establish whether to start a Compulsory Purchase Order to obtain land. However, the Parish Council decided against a CPO having established that this would be a costly exercise.

  With the difficulties experienced, the Whitchurch Parish Council would like to look for Lottery funding from the National Heritage Trust, to defray the anticipated high costs involved. Can you render any assistance in this respect.

  We hope that this information will prove useful towards the Inquiry on Cemeteries, and very much look forward to receiving a copy of the report which is being carried out on a National basis.

C L Broad

Clerk to the Council

November 2000

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