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Landowner behind plans to build home on graveyard insists no burials will be harmed

PUBLISHED: 06:30 09 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 09 April 2019

A home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

A home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

Archant

A home proposed to be built on a former graveyard will not disrupt any of the burials which lie beneath, the landowner has insisted.

A home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinA home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

Andy Robinson, who bought the plot on Croft Lane in Diss from Diss Baptist Church more than five years ago, has lodged a bid with South Norfolk Council to build on the site.

The plans call for a single two-bedroom bungalow to be built, along with a garage, parking for two cars and “a chapel-style entrance port to reflect the former use of the site”.

Special permission will need to be sought from the Ministry of Justice to build on the land, with the building specifically designed to do as little damage to the graves as possible.

The burial ground has been cleared of headstones since September 2015, when they were moved to the grounds of the present Baptist church on Denmark Street.

A home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon ParkinA home could be built on a former Baptist graveyard on Croft Lane in Diss. Picture: Simon Parkin

During this process the bodies of those buried were not exhumed.

But Mr Robinson, who is behind the scheme, has insisted none of the bodies buried in the site will be disturbed by the works, should permission be granted.

The bungalow is proposed to be built on a raft foundation, which has been designed by specialist structural engineers to ensure no damage is done to any of the burials.

He said: “I have spoken to my archaeologist and have been assured that the burials are at such a depth that they will not be disturbed at all.

“Everything relating to burials has to be done under licence and with the relevant authorities watching our every move.”

The site was bought by the pair with planning permission already in place after the church itself applied, but this has now lapsed meaning a new application was required to revive the scheme.

Mr Robinson said: “We have received some negative comments about the plans from people who live a long way away from the site, but the feeling I have got from people living nearby is that they just want to see it put to use.

“Yes, there are burials, but half of Norwich is also built on burials.”

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