By Ewan Foskett
Thursday, March 8, 2012
CONCERNS have been raised over access to a cemetery designed to keep burials in Royston weeks before a planning application is lodged.
The town council hope to convert a derelict orchard into a burial site after a North Herts District Council decision to move services 12 miles to a district wide facility in Letchworth GC as the current Melbourn Road sites are filling up.
But a nearby farmer is worried about the amount of work that is required to bring the bridle way to the Wicker Hall site into good repair for mourners.
Alan Baddley, of Heath Farm, said: “The councils reaction to fill in a few holes to improve the road way isn’t realistic because of the effort involved and the water that runs down after any rain fall would wash out any concrete surface and create pot holes.
“It can’t benefit the area because of the distance for people to come up here, it’s a little far out of the town.”
Mr Baddley, who works for E C Noakes and Son, also said that the orchard has become a haven for twitchers telling The Crow buzzards nested in the woods.
An Echo Hill resident also raised fears it could become “a rat run” if it is improved and could see an increase in recreational users.
Plans to build the cemetery, which could serve the town for 100 years, were revealed by Royston Town Council last month and council leader cllr Bob Smith acknowledged there may be some problems.
He said: “We’re aware of some residents who have contacted us about access to it and the bridle path, and we are looking at it at the moment to make sure it is up to standard.
“We are almost certainly going to have to improve it in some way or another, but it wont be brought up to public highways standard.”
A planning application is expected to be lodged in a few weeks that will reveal the town council’s design.
Details are sketchy at present but the 1.7 acre site will be developed by the body and is expected to cost between £100,000 to £190,000.
Which will be paid for by either a precept hike, a loan or a combination of the two.
An anonymous £250,000 donation was given to the town council to pay for the land if planning permission is granted.