Village burial ground plan ‘not the end of the world’

A NEW cemetery capable of holding 1,700 graves could be created in Yatton.

The proposals for a new cemetery and allotment site were revealed at a public meeting.

The burial ground, planned for land behind Mendip Road and Cadbury Farm Road, could hold up to 1,700 graves, providing much-needed burial plots for the village, and reduce a long waiting list for allotments.

Yatton Parish Council has been looking for a new burial ground for several years as St Mary’s Church has reached its capacity.

Consultant Peter Mitchell said it has taken a lot of work to get to this stage.

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He said: “The parish council has been looking for years to find a new site. It has taken years to reach where we are now.

“We have the field divided into two, with allotments (nearest the homes in Mendip Road) and the cemetery, with some kind of road into it.”

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The field is owned by North Somerset Council and the current footpath would be turned into a track leading into a purpose-built car park.

A smaller field to the west may also be used as a natural cemetery where ashes could be scattered amongst trees.

Villagers did raise some concerns over potential flooding, damage to wildlife habitat and traffic flow at the meeting, held at Hangstones Pavilion on December 3.

The cemetery would be open to anyone in North Somerset who has died, but residents’ fears the cemetery would regularly hold funerals, were played down.

Mr Mitchell said: “Primarily it will be used by Yatton residents because people don’t want to go a long way for a cemetery. If this project goes ahead, it really isn’t the end of the world.

“I appreciate any development isn’t welcome. But if it is not turned into a cemetery then it is only a matter of time before someone sees the land and wants to do something else. If we do nothing, there’s no guarantee the field will stay the same.”

Parish council chairman David Crossman added: “The site will be leased to us at a peppercorn rate. If the cemetery doesn’t go ahead then North Somerset Council, which is short of money, may look at it for housing.”

Residents will have a second chance to comment on the plans in January before Yatton Parish Council decides whether to submit a planning application to North Somerset Council.

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