Church applies to re-use graves

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 September 2016

St Andrew's Church in Backwell.

St Andrew's Church in Backwell.

Archant

Church leaders in Backwell are seeking permission to re-use grave plots more than 80 years old so people can continue to be buried in the village.

The churchyard at St Andrew’s is running out of space and the church has been trying to buy extra land below the site for more than four years.

Persimmon Homes, which owns the fields, has now said it cannot continue negotiating until its planning application for Farleigh Fields has been resolved.

Rector Margi Campbell said: “After more than five years of negotiation, the potential purchase of land in Backwell to extend the churchyard has reached an impasse.

“Persimmon Homes has indicated it cannot proceed until its planning application for homes on Farleigh Fields is resolved.

“In all probability this will sadly be too late for parishioners of Backwell as we have only 10 spaces left for burials.

“We will be seeking the views of parishioners in early 2017, as we apply for legal permission for the potential reuse of grave plots over 80 years old.

“Although not our preferred first option, it would allow a few more years of burials. Current memorials would be preserved in an area close to their original site.

“Once plans are drawn up we will ensure all are informed and views will be sought from those in the parish to see whether this is something that would be acceptable.

“The church has done its utmost to secure this extension to ensure burials for parishioners over the next century and we are deeply saddened that, for the immediate future, we cannot proceed.”

The lack of burial plots will not affect cremations.

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