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'People are getting anxious' - Norfolk village resumes search for new cemetery

PUBLISHED: 12:19 20 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:38 20 June 2019

Acle parish council has applied to Broadland District Council to extend the village's existing cemetery.  Picture: James Bass

Acle parish council has applied to Broadland District Council to extend the village's existing cemetery. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2016

A Norfolk village's long search for land for a new cemetery might finally be over - if a planning application is approved.

Acle parish council has applied to Broadland District Council to extend the village's existing cemetery.  Picture: James BassAcle parish council has applied to Broadland District Council to extend the village's existing cemetery. Picture: James Bass

Acle Parish Council has applied to Broadland District Council (BDC) to change the use of half an acre of agricultural land into a graveyard.

Parish clerk Pauline James said the council will purchase the site, northwest of the current cemetery off Pyebush Lane, subject to planning permission.

The council has been trying to find land for a new cemetery for 25 years.

It previously failed to get a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) for land north of the cemetery, raising the question of where residents would be buried once the existing graveyard is full.

Space for new burial sites is fast running out at Acle cemetery. Picture: ANDREW STONESpace for new burial sites is fast running out at Acle cemetery. Picture: ANDREW STONE

The village's cemetery has been in use since the 1960s - but, with space for at most 10 or so more burials, will last for only another year and a half. The time limit had compelled the parish council into not accepting requests from residents to reserve a burial space.

Ms James said: "Some people are getting anxious, wanting to plan ahead for their families."

She said the proposed extension is important for what is a growing village; there are plans to build 140 more houses while work has already begun on 36 new homes south of the railway station.

"The village is growing. It has always been popular with older people, because of the facilities," Ms James said.

Much of the land around Acle is low-lying, with a high water table, and therefore not suitable for burial.

In 2015 the parish council requested a CPO for three and a half acres of the land north of the cemetery but BDC refused to make the order.

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In June last year the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government rejected the parish council's petition to make a CPO to acquire one acre of land to extend the cemetery.

The council was upset at the time and decided to write again to all landowners to try to find some alternative land.

The current application includes provision for access from the main road for a hearse, as well as one disabled parking space.

Ms James said the parish council is hoping villagers write to Broadland District Council to support the application.

"We really need people to say, 'I support it, I would like to be buried there'," she said.

Comments on the application can be made here.

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