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20th Jan, 2022

Alarm at council plans to site new cemetery off Ipsley Church Lane

Ross Crawford 20th Aug, 2020

PLANS to site a cemetery on land off Ipsley Church Lane have sparked a wave of anger from local residents.

An outline planning application on the 11.5 acre site, on open fields bordered by Icknield Street Drive and opposite Matchborough west, has brought nearly 100 letters of objection.

Access to the cemetery would be off Ipsley Church Lane, but objectors say this is road is too narrow and dispute a traffic survey carried out by council officers.

They also question where mourners would park when attending a funeral.

Others say the fields in question are part of Arrow Valley Park and should be left untouched.

They say the change of use would lead to a loss of public amenity as the fields are popular with walkers and for recreation.

Others point out that the land at the southern end of the site frequently gets boggy and would be totally unsuitable for cemetery use.

Council officers say the borough is running out of cemetery land and estimate the site, if given the go ahead, could provide the authority with enough land for between 60 and 70 years of use.

Developing the site is also seen as the cheaper option as it would mean the council wouldn’t have to buy land from a private owner.

Local Councillor John Fisher (Lab, Matchborough) said: “I’m really concerned about this proposal.

“It’s in an area that is well used by local people for walking and recreation and I don’t mean once in a while but every day.

“There is an lot of opposition which is entirely understandable and I will be liaising with residents to make sure that everyone’s views on this proposal are taken into account.”

Councillor Brandon Clayton (Con, Astwood Bank and Feckenham) who’s environment portfolio covers cemetery services said: “It’s a case that the council has been looking for the last ten years for a new cemetery in Redditch.

“The officers have carried out tests all over the town but these have been turned down for various reasons.

“Now we have come up with a site in Ipsley that fits all the criteria.”

However he said the application was in outline only and therefore the authority could not consult with local residents until the actual planning application came forward.

“If the outline plans are passed – and we cannot take anything for granted – then we will take full consultation with all the residents,” he said.

To look at the plans, visit https://tinyurl.com/udm73gj and key in 20/00863/FUL in the search box.

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