The ArgusChurch burial site to expand (From The Argus)

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Church burial site to expand

The Argus: Church burial site to expand Church burial site to expand

A church burial ground is being expanded despite concerns it could become used by people from outside the parish.

On Wednesday Brighton and Hove City Council’s planning committee voted in favour of plans to turn 3,500sqm of agricultural land at St Wulfran’s Church in Ovingdean into extra burial land.

Conservative spokeswoman Lynda Hyde refused to back the plans, saying she was concerned it could be used by people from outside the area.

The Rottingdean councillor even tried to push through a condition that would limit who could be buried there.

She was backed in her push by resident Anthony Kenney, who attended the meeting to speak against the plans.

He said: “Pressure on the local church to accept people from outside the parish could be overwhelming. We trust the current vicar and the church wardens but we don’t trust future vicars or wardens.”

The council had also received 37 letters and a 38-signature petition opposing the plans on the grounds it would be excessive in scale, would have potential for ground water contamination and there were con- cerns it could become a “municipal graveyard”.

Villagers have stated the site had been a wildflower meadow which was a haven for bees, butterflies and pheasants before the local parochial church council bought the land from Brighton and Hove City Council in 2011.

Church warden Ewart Wooldridge reassured the council that the new site would continue to be used in line with policies that required it to serve people living in Ovingdean, those with a close connection to the church and those who died in Ovingdean.

He added: “This is about an appropriate development approach that protects the field from any other development while making this piece of land accessible to the community.

"The church and the council have already agreed the terms of use of the land, which will also provide to the whole community a beautiful and peaceful area open to all for walking, reflection and other community activities.”

Supporters of the application said it was necessary to safeguard burial space for future generations.

 

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