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Plans for new graveyard to be built at ‘peaceful, isolated’ Norfolk chapel

PUBLISHED: 16:23 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:32 08 April 2020

The burial ground, on the Oulton Chapel site, could see 121 spaces for graves as well as 31 plots for cremation ashes to be scattered. Photo: Terry Hickman Smith, Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust

The burial ground, on the Oulton Chapel site, could see 121 spaces for graves as well as 31 plots for cremation ashes to be scattered. Photo: Terry Hickman Smith, Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust

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A new graveyard could be built at an 18th century Norfolk chapel.

The burial ground, on the Oulton Chapel site, could see 121 spaces for graves as well as 31 plots for cremation ashes to be scattered.

And the plans, which were submitted to Broadland District Council by the Norfolk Historic Buildings Trust (NHBT), who own the chapel complex, late last month, have seen the site described as “ideal in location, size and character” by planners.

Terry Hickman Smith, from the NHBT, confirmed the plans were unrelated to the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus and said: “It’s been mooted for considerable time.

“There have been burials there over the years. It’s a lovely, really isolated, peaceful place. The idea has been discussed for 12 months.”

The chapel, dating from 1728, lies to the north of Oulton Street and south east from Saxthorpe, and sits within a complex made up of the Grade II listed chapel, and a separate manse and a barn.

A design and access statement, published on the council website, states: “The chapel is used for religious services and for secular meetings and events. The trust seeks to ensure that the buildings are kept in a good state of repair.”

The site was previously used for burials, with both old and recent gravestones around the chapel.

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However, the land immediately around the chapel is “full and no longer suitable” and the trust has been approached about interring bodies with its grounds.

Plans for the burial ground would see “self-contained” land west of the chapel, which has not been consecrated, designated for secular burials in oak-edged plots.

New trees, including crab apple, plum, cherry, almond and hazels, will also be planted there.

The plans also state that the development will see “little change to the site” but “improve visual amenity of the complex”.

It states: “The tree planting will enhance the immediate area and will make a delightful, peaceful place for funerals and interment.

“It is anticipated that funerals will take place rarely and will not add significantly to traffic periodically arriving at the site.”

There will be one part-time job created due to the creation of the graveyard, and the site also offers “plenty of space for car parking”.

The trust urged the council to grant them permission, and said: “The proposed site is ideal in location, size and character. The traffic will be small scale

“It is highly recommended that these proposals be granted.”

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