Costessey land transfer paves way for woodland cemetery
A large transfer of land to the parish council in Costessey has paved the way for efforts to create a woodland cemetery.
The land transfer, which involves a range of spots including roundabouts and a country park, will mean that the parish council are in a position to push forward with establishing the burial site on acquired land at Longwater Lane.
It comes about following years of work between the parish and South Norfolk Council, who rubber stamped the plan earlier this week by handing over the land for �1.
Chairman of the parish council Vivienne Bell was keen to stress that things were in the early stages but was expectant work would progress.
'We were delighted with the approval, and it shows things are really happening in Costessey,' she said.
'It's early days with regard to the cemetery but we're hopeful, and what we want to do is for it to provide a woodlands burial site as an added facility for parishioners and an added site that we can use.
'Burial land is in short supply, and though our current cemetery still has plenty of space we've had some expertise and advice on the issue.
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'The parish council is the burial authority and this is about maintaining control of things.'
The transferred land at Longwater Lane is 13.6 hectares, with 2.3 hectares of rough grazing land and the rest woodland.
If the council's efforts are successful, the cemetery will be a part of this woodland.
Clr Bell said: 'We hope to make it a very nice area and give people a choice, and the idea is to make it eco-friendly, with special coffins or ones made from wicker.'
She added that there had been a lot of preparation for the cemetery, which was first highlighted as an idea in a 2006 parish plan.
However, she added that it would be at least two years before anything was established, with negotiations still taking place with relevant parties and a site still needing to be chosen. Among the seven other parcels of land are East Hills Woodland – which otherwise might have been sold off – and a planned play area and country park in the Queens Hills estate.
The parish council will now take on costs of running the sites, though in the case of Queens Hills this will be aided by developers.
For the play areas on the development, a commuted sum of �298,000 has been negotiated.
Is there a major development going on in your community? Contact reporter John Owens on 01603 772439.