Clerk highlights shortage of burial plots
THE extension of Sherborne Cemetery is something the town needs if it is to address its shortage of burial plots, according to the town clerk.
Trevor Savage has warned that if the issue is not addressed then people will need to go elsewhere for the interment of their loved ones.
Sherborne Town Council has submitted a planning application to extend the cemetery across an area which currently houses a children's play park.
Despite a mixed response to the plans, Mr Savage told the Western Gazette that the decision was the culmination of years of discussion.
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He said: "The bottom line is that this has been on and off the council agenda for years.
"The council's cemetery working group has looked at the issue over the past two years and fundamentally made the recommendation that the existing cemetery needed to be extended.
"The council recognises there is some opposition but the land will stay predominately green. The land has been earmarked for cemetery extension since the 1940s and the town needs it now."
Mr Savage was unable to give the exact number of burial plots remaining but said it is "not double digits".
The plans for the cemetery will see the site extended on a phased basis, with the first phase providing space for at least 30 years. Mr Savage said that with the entire extension plan realised, the site could be in use for more than 100 years longer.
Fears over the loss of the children's play area had formed part of opposition to the plans, but Mr Savage has said that the existing "tired" facility will be replaced, but at the opposite end of the field.
He said: "The current play area has seen better days."