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Issue 288 – Cemetery extension will create more burial space in Frome

Plans to extend Frome’s Easthill cemetery to allow an estimated further 25 years of burials have been given a nod of approval by the local planning authority.

Back in August, the Frome Times reported on Mendip District Council’s cabinet agreeing to release over £62,000 to extend the site, which experts believed had only a possible four years of use left on its current size.
Easthill cemetery was first opened in 1959 and is now almost full. The expansion will involve around five acres of land to the west of the cemetery. Mendip District Council owns the adjoining land which was used for animal grazing for many years. The land has been unused for the last couple of years.
Plans to change the use of the land were submitted and Mendip District Council’s planning department has given approval with minor landscaping conditions.
In the application, Cheryl Norton, Mendip District Council’s bereavement services officer wrote, “It is widely accepted and indeed expected by the public that the local authority should provide suitable burial space.
“The total area of council land adjoining the cemetery is 2.83 (ha) and planning permission is being sought to use approximately 25% of this. If required, the remainder of the land could be fenced off and considered for other purposes (i.e. grazing land again) which would generate income.
“The total area of the proposed extension is 6,910 square metres.
“It is difficult to accurately determine how many years’ capacity the extension will give in terms of burials given the nature of the subject, but current burial figures indicate capacity for a further 25 years.”
The planning approval comes as welcome news for Frome’s funeral directors, who say that the extension will resolve a long term problem with burial space.
Mandy Lee, funeral director of William Adlam Funeral Service said, “Easthill cemetery provides an important focal point for bereavement and this means that the local community can visit the graves of their loved ones without having to travel.
“It is definitely good news for the town as burial space is an important issue. There is a serious shortage in Frome as all the churches are now closed to new burials.”
It is expected to be around five years before the extension will actually come into use.
Frome’s mayor, councillor Damon Hooton said, “The fact is that Frome is running out of burial space so this is a very good thing for the town and the management plan for the landscaping and maintenance of the surrounding land is also good.”

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