Royston cemetery set for trouble after animal survey?

14:15 31 May 2012

Members of the Cemetery search time district and town councillor Peter Burt and town clerk Susan Thornton-Bjork.

Members of the Cemetery search time district and town councillor Peter Burt and town clerk Susan Thornton-Bjork.

Archant

THE battle to keep burials in Royston may be set for trouble after evidence of badgers and bats were discovered at a proposed cemetery.

Surveys costing £4,278 will now have to be commissioned by Royston Town Council to ensure development on the planned Wicker Hall site is feasible.

The news was revealed on Monday that an old badger sett was found along with rotten trees that could host bats. An ecologist told the Crow that if the searches come back positive, the project could be delayed for up to 12 months.

Members reacted angrily to the news, with Cllr Davison fearing the reaction of the public when there was no evidence of recent animal activity.

“I think that council tax payers in Royston will wonder why it’s necessary when there is no evidence of badgers or their latrines and further there is no evidence of bats.

“I think this is an example of risk adverse legislation that has become more common over the past 10 years or so and risk adverse interpretation of legislation in the planning department.

“It’s good there wasn’t snow on the ground when they did the inspection or they would have found evidence of polar bears.”

District councillor Peter Burt, who has been heading up the cemetery working party, was more measured in his response.

He said: “I’m not happy about it, but it is one of those things we have to live with.

“If we don’t do it, we won’t get planning permission – that’s the situation.”

A planning application has been registered for the cemetery, which would take Royston’s deceased after North Herts District Council decided to move all burials to Letchworth as Royston’s Melbourn Street sites were reaching capacity.

The district council is working with the town council on the 1.7 acre site which would have enough room for 100 year’s worth of burials.

An anonymous £25,000 was gifted to the council to buy the site, but the authority will be responsible for the development of the cemetery which is likely to cost between £100,000-£190,000.

A bridle way leading up to the cemetery will need to be upgraded and initial talks with Hertfordshire Highways revealed it may have to be tarmaced, with grass left on the side for horses.

Cllr Burt told members it is in a “dire condition” but using that measure on the 260m access route would be “very expensive”.

The authority will be looking for sponsorship if the bridle way is tarmaced but it is awaiting a response from Hertfordshire Highways.

1 comment

  • Obviously the councillor has no concern for the local wildlife or for the people who frequent the area. Although there are no polo bears!! There are a number a dear that use the plot, as well as kite and other species of bird. Is it so inconceivable that badgers and bats also use the land? Wouldn’t it be nice that they even had the option to use it in the future? Is time and money your only concern? It would seem so. D Harris.

    Report this comment

    samp

    Thursday, May 31, 2012

More news stories

Yesterday, 17:02

A cancer charity will launch the start of its tea season in a Royston shop.

Yesterday, 12:01
Revellers in the beer tent. Picture: by Kevin Richards.

A great day full of beer, bouncy castles and banter was had on Sunday as Royston Town Football Club hosted its 10th beer and music festival.

Yesterday, 08:32
Councillor Lyndsey Davidson, councillor Fiona Hill, Winner Henry Silver, councillor Tony Hunter, councillor Victoria Hulstrom-Allen.

A fun run in Royston offered up a great day for all of the family, with 120 people putting their best foot forward.

Thu, 17:02
Becky Willers.

A charity which has close links with Shepreth Wildlife Park has received money from a local business.

”North

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Royston Crow e-edition today E-edition