Posted: Thu 25th Apr 2024

Extra Conditions Imposed on Planning Permission for Tredegar Cemetery Extension /

EXTRA conditions will be put on planning permission to extend a cemetery in Tredegar to ensure the development is done in a sensitive manner.
At a meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Planning committee on Tuesday, April 23 councillors discussed an application to extend the cemetery at Crown Avenue, Dukestown into a field to the west of it,
The planning application made by the council itself was in front of councillors as it is a “departure” application.
This is because the field proposed for the extension is officially in the countryside and outside the settlement boundary.
The report explained that Planning Policy Wales says that cemeteries are identified as green infrastructure at the local scale.
This reinforces the council’s position that cemeteries are appropriate uses outside the settlement boundary.
Planning officer Sophie Godfrey said that provision to extend Dukestown cemetery to the north had been made in the Local Development Plan (LDP), but this field is to the west.
She recommended the committee approve the application.
Cllr Diane Rowberry who is the county borough councillor for the Sirhowy ward which includes the cemetery pointed out that the land in question has been saturated by rain in recent months and is soft.
Due to this Cllr Rowberry was concerned that heavy plant equipment needed to build a retaining wall there could cause disruption.
She added that vehicles similar to quad bikes used by workers were already “churning up” the land there.
Ms Godfrey said: “I can’t explain really how much ripping up of the ground there will be.
“That will be a matter for the build of the development and is not something we would consider under the planning application.”
Cllr Rowberry said: “I hope there will be respect for the headstones that are there, you’re going to have heavy vehicles going in there and I’m concerned.”
Planning officer Helen Hinton presented a solution to the concerns.
Ms Hinton said: “I can understand the concerns that have been raised and the need to be sensitive to relatives and the gravestones that are there?
“We could impose a construction management plan and get the applicant to detail the provision of temporary fencing that would separate the existing cemetery from the proposed site.”
“We can then clarify just how machinery will access the site and make sure it is dealt sensitively.
“I’d like to reassure you that this is a council application so I am sure it will be undertaken sensitively we can seek some additional measures by condition if you would like to do so.”
Councillors agreed to add this condition to the proposal.
From the report the yearly burial rates are estimated to be from 17 to 25.
Cllr Wayne Hodgins asked for this figure to be translated to “how many years” of extra capacity would this extension provide.
Cllr Hodgins said “We are mindful that we have capacity issues at number of our cemeteries across the borough.
“When we endorse something it’s good to have all the facts.”
He added that he fully supports the extension.
Cllr Hodgins was told that as this is not a “planning issue” he needed to ask the question to the relevant council officer.
The committee then went to a vote and councillors unanimously supported the proposal. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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