Work starts at controversial Ipsley Meadow cemetery site - The Redditch Standard

Work starts at controversial Ipsley Meadow cemetery site

Redditch Editorial 23rd Feb, 2024   0

THE APPROVED controversial plans to create a new cemetery at Ipsley Meadow has taken a step closer.

Redditch Borough Council has removed hedges on land west of Icknield Street Drive this week to make way for works to create an entrance to the site – they are set to begin in April.

The authority’s executive committee approved the plan for the site to be used as a new cemetery in October 2021, despite more than 800 objections from the public.

Redditch Borough Council earmarked the site, part of Arrow Valley Park, four years ago after spending years hunting for the right location.

Covering an area of 11.5acres, council officers estimate the land, to the west of Icknield Street Drive, could be big enough to last 80 years as a cemetery.

Officers say developing the land would be cheaper than buying a new site from an existing landowner.

A planning application to finalise the design of the cemetery, including pathways so walkers can still enjoy the landscape, are set to be submitted to the Council later this year.

Coun Brandon Clayton, portfolio holder for Bereavement Services, said: “As well as providing a practical solution to the national shortage of burial sites we want this cemetery to be aesthetically pleasing and also environmentally sound.

“We are working closely with the Woodland Trust to achieve this and look forward to sharing designs with our residents who have been involved in the planning process so far and indeed were given extra time to speak at the committee meeting three years ago

“I am delighted work is now starting on this exciting development.”

Funds of £320,000 have been put aside for the project.

Redditch Labour leader, Coun Joe Baker, said the party were totally against the plan to build the cemetery.

“If we are elected in May we will look at putting forward an urgent review into alternative sites.

“I have asked an officer to start looking into this as a matter for consideration

“The Tory group has ploughed through this ill-thought idea without any consideration of residents, the land itself and the effect it has on the habitat.

“I want a council that listens to the residents and puts its thoughts in the heart of our decision-making making process, bringing democracy back to Redditch.”

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