Hundreds sign Clevedon petition to stop green space being used to ease burial ground shortage
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 December 2017
Hundreds of residents have signed a petition fighting council plans to transform land used by children and dog walkers into allotments to ease Clevedon’s burial ground shortage.
North Somerset Council wants to create new allotments in a field off Brookfield Walk so it can use existing allotment land in Old Church Road to expand the town’s cemetery, which is set to reach full capacity in the next 18 months.
The authority approached Clevedon Town Council, which owns the existing allotment land, with the proposal and a plan to carry out tests at the sites to check their suitability.
But residents living in and around Brookfield Walk oppose the idea and have handed in a petition urging for the area to be retained as green space.
Petition organiser Rose Hurley said: “I think we have got just over 200 signatures.
“The majority of these people actually use the field with their children and for dog walking.
“It is the only public open space this side of town.
“It had been tested 30 years ago and it was found to be unsuitable because it was waterlogged.
“If we lose it to allotments, they won’t want people going over there with dogs and kids.
“What we are also worried about is housing – once something goes into those fields, everything will follow.”
Despite the proposal North Somerset Council has insisted no decision has been made and the plans are still at the investigation stage.
It is hoped soil testing will take place at both sites before Christmas with results expected in early 2018.
A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We are in talks with Clevedon Town Council about the need to find further burial land for the town.
“No agreement has been reached beyond the principle of allowing the ground investigation tests.”
Action is being taken to free up extra burial space across North Somerset.
The district council gave Yatton Parish Council permission to carry out tests on a possible new cemetery in Mendip Road in March, due to St Mary’s Church approaching full capacity.
St Andrew’s Church in Backwell has also warned the village is facing a shortage of burial ground space while Nailsea is in a similar situation.