Search for cemetery goes on
A SCHOOL playing field in Stowmarket will not be turned into a cemetery – but the search for new burial ground goes on.Although there is no immediate need to find extra space, the town council is anxious to acquire new land before it runs out of time.
A SCHOOL playing field in Stowmarket will not be turned into a cemetery - but the search for new burial ground goes on.
Although there is no immediate need to find extra space, the town council is anxious to acquire new land before it runs out of time.
This led to talks with Stowmarket Middle School about expanding a cemetery, on Violet Hill Road, into their playing fields.
But these plans have today been rebuffed by headteacher Gordon Ewing, who said he would be unable to accept a further loss of land.
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He said: "We won't be pursuing that sale.
"In 1996, we lost two-and-a-half-acres for a housing development and we're really squeezed at the moment."
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The suggestion, put forward by town mayor Barry Salmon, came after the school revealed it was looking to spend between £20,000 and £30,000 fencing its boundary.
The council was asked to contribute to this, partly because its cemetery adjoins the school boundary.
But it was unable to do this, and came up with the alternative idea in a bid to suit all parties.
Mr Salmon said: "I said right at the outset if it wasn't suitable for the school then I wouldn't be interested.
"As important as it is for us to find new burial ground, it's more important the children have a rounded education and access to enough playing fields.
"It was a case of seeing if we could come to solution that would suit all parties, but I definitely don't want to upset the school."
The search for new cemetery land in Stowmarket comes at a time when there is a shortage of space across the country.
Nationally, the Home Office is conducting a survey of all 25,000 burial grounds in England and Wales to investigate the issue. One proposal aired suggests bodies could be exhumed and reburied at a deeper level to allow new coffins to be laid on top.
Mr Salmon added: "We'll definitely continue our search for new land and the new proposals suggested could help buy us more time.
"We've got enough space for the next few years, but we need to keep looking."