Anger at plans for burial ground

CELIA WIGG A controversial scheme to build a new bungalow and garage on a former burial ground has been tipped for approval by district planners. Diss Baptist Church was granted consent to redevelop the graveyard on the corner of Croft Lane and Croft Close in 2001, following a site visit by members of South Norfolk Council's south-west area planning committee.

CELIA WIGG

A controversial scheme to build a new bungalow and garage on a former burial ground has been tipped for approval by district planners.

Diss Baptist Church was granted consent to redevelop the graveyard on the corner of Croft Lane and Croft Close in 2001, following a site visit by members of South Norfolk Council's south-west area planning committee. This permission has now lapsed and renewal of consent is being sought.

The town council had originally backed the proposal. But, it is now calling for the application to be rejected because the loss of a yew tree and historical burial ground in Diss is considered unacceptable.

There have also been eight protest letters from local residents who deplore the scheme.

One of the objectors described the site as “a sacred, beautiful little graveyard”. Others said it was wrong to destroy a lovely, peaceful resting place that was also a unique sanctuary for wildlife.

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There were also concerns that some residents might have relatives buried there and that consecrated ground should not be disturbed.

However, the committee has been advised that although the proposal raises moral issues and distress to residents, this is not a planning consideration. The removal of the remains and the means of construction is a matter for the Department of Constitutional Affairs and building control.

County highways have raised no objections and approval would be subject to a number of conditions. These include headstones to be surveyed and recorded, the rebuilding of the southern boundary wall, and underpinning and raising of existing walls to the north and east of the site.

The application goes before the committee on Tuesday. If approved, Diss Baptist Church will need a Home Office Licence before work can take place.

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