Cemetery could double in size under new plans

A general image of Longwater Lane Cemetery in Costessey. Picture: Sonya Brown

A general image of Longwater Lane Cemetery in Costessey. Picture: Sonya Brown - Credit: Eastern Counties Newspapers

A cemetery could be doubled in size in anticipation of increased deaths from coronavirus.

Costessey Town Council, which owns and maintains Longwater Lane Cemetery on the edge of Norwich, has applied to South Norfolk Council to use agricultural land next to the site for 12 cremation plots on a 10 metre strip of grassed area next to the cemetery.

An additional 0.5 hectare square grassed area, bought from South Norfolk Council, next to the cemetery would be used for coffin internments.

The design and access statement, on South Norfolk Council’s website, said: “Costessey Town Council has been looking to extend the current cemetery for some time, but given the coronavirus pandemic it is likely that more burial space will be needed in a shorter space of time than previously anticipated.”

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Council clerk Hilary Elias said: “The cemetery expansion plans have always been in the pipeline.”

She added that the extra burial and cremation plots would ensure the cemetery, used by Costessey residents and people who had links to the area, would have enough capacity over the next few years.

In both areas, there are no wooded areas and a line of trees along the edge of the 10 metre strip, obtained through a Section 106 agreement in 2013 from house developer Taylor Wimpey following the Dr Torrens Way development, would remain.

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At the end of March this year, there were 76 burial plots and 26 cremation plots available for use at Longwater Lane Cemetery, according to planning documents.

Mrs Elias said the burial and cremation plots on the extra land would be used only when the current cemetery was full.

The design and access statement added that currently 80pc of burials in the cemetery are cremation internments and the site sees 20-25 internments each year.

If approved, the two feet square cremation plots would have grass pathways between them for access and should provide space for up to 2,169 ashes internments.

The design and access statement said: “The amount of land in the grassed square area will provide at least as much burial space as in the current cemetery and in the current circumstances would be more than sufficient to accommodate large multi-use graves for assisted burials if necessary.”