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Controversy over green burial site

PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 March 2010

HEAVY opposition to controversial plans for a green burial site in Martlesham may not be enough to stop it going ahead.

Despite objections from residents, parish councillors, Suffolk County Council Countryside Management and the Highways Authority, planning officers have recommended the proposal for approval.

HEAVY opposition to controversial plans for a green burial site in Martlesham may not be enough to stop it going ahead.

Despite objections from residents, parish councillors, Suffolk County Council Countryside Management and the Highways Authority, planning officers have recommended the proposal for approval.

Targeted for land at Mill Lane between the River Deben and the industrial estate, the application for the 49 hectare site has already been thrown out once before.

Suffolk Coastal felt that the planned car parks and buildings for the burial ground were excessive and going against policies.

But after a revised application was lodged, the go-ahead could now be given following a site visit by members of Suffolk Coastal's south area development control sub-committee.

The site of the application joins on to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a County Wildlife Site.

If given the go-ahead there would be five zones and burials would be in shrouds or cardboard coffins and a chapel of rest would be provided by the undertakers off site.

Each burial would be marked with a wooden cross or plaque and an estimated 40 burials will take place within the first year.

A visitors car park for 20 vehicles was also included in the plans.

Martlesham parish council has objected and claimed that there is evidence of the rare Silver Studded Blue butterfly which is on the at-risk register and that the woodland is also home to nightingales.

The council also said that the roads and car park would be unnecessary and obtrusive.

One resident was concerned about the possibility of water-borne diseases in his water supply which comes from a shallow well that takes in this area of wood in its catchment area.

Others were anxious about the loss of trees and the fact that they deemed it inappropriate to have a burial site of this size on the edge of an AONB.

In response the applicants have said that once the site is full it should be run as a Wildlife Trust to secure the habitat and the graves.

Members of Suffolk Coastal have already visited the site and the application will be discussed at a meeting on Wednesday.

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