Green burial site set for go-ahead

DESPITE nearly 400 protests plus objections from all the surrounding villages, community leaders are being recommended to give the go-ahead to proposals for a new woodland burial site.

DESPITE nearly 400 protests plus objections from all the surrounding villages, community leaders are being recommended to give the go-ahead to proposals for a new woodland burial site.

The controversial venture would be set up on 97 acres of farmland at Tuddenham St Martin and eventually cater for 21,000 graves.

Objectors are furious - and say it would cause traffic problems, fear the green burials could contaminate water supplies for Ipswich and the surrounding area, and believe the project is too large.

Members of Suffolk Coastal's south area development control sub committee will decide the application from the Tuddenham Hall estate on January 8.

Officers are recommending councillors approve the project subject to conditions to control use of the burial ground, its day-to-day operation, and instructions from the Environment Agency on not using wet or regularly flooded land or that is near water sources.

Tuddenham St Martin, Playford, Grundisburgh and Culpho, Great Bealings and Westerfield parish councils have all objected.

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Three fields off Grundisburgh Road would be used for the parkland burial site, with substantial tree planting, acres of green open space, a car park, and new access.

Tuddenham Parish Council said: “There was surprise and concern at the size of the proposal which seems to be approaching burials on an almost industrial scale.

“To develop a site capable of managing more than 1,000 internments per year - consistent with a town with a population of between 150,000 and 250,000 - when in 2004 there were only just over 22,000 deaths in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire combined, most of whom would not be seeking green burials, seems to be out of step with local requirements.”

Case officer at Suffolk Coastal, William Shoote said at current predicted burial levels, the site would take 80 years to reach capacity.

Investigations had been done to assess possible water pollution and a hydro-geological report concluded the site was likely to be suitable for green burials.

He added: “While the countryside needs to be protected from inappropriate forms of development it is acknowledged that the use proposed would most likely need to be located in the countryside. In addition it would not be particularly detrimental to the area visually and indeed may offer the opportunity to secure visual and bio diversity improvements.”

Is it an appropriate place for a woodland burial site? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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