New plans have been created for a new cemetery near Basingstoke Crematorium due to fears the borough will soon run out of capacity for bodies.
A document submitted by Harris Lamb Planning Consultancy on behalf of Dignity Funerals Limited shows plans for the construction of a new cemetery in Stockbridge Road, North Waltham.
A planning statement issued earlier this year suggested the cemetery was needed because “the present Council-operated cemetery in Worting Road is now close to full capacity”. The new designs would make room for a cemetery, parking, access, interior pathways and associated landscaping.
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The statement also highlighted that undeveloped and unoccupied land north of the A30 Stockbridge Road would be a suitable location. The site is adjacent to the existing Basingstoke crematorium and is approximately 5 km south-west of Basingstoke towards the village of North Waltham.
The site would have two vehicle access points and parking space for 81 cars, while the sidewalks will be widened by 1.8m to allow pallbearers to walk comfortably.
In anticipation of concerns about the site’s ecology, the design and access statement emphasized that the retained trees and hedgerows will be “supplemented by new plantings on the site, including new groves of trees, new specimen tree plantings, shrubs and wildflower meadows planting.” The designers say this will help create a “strong landscape structure and diversity of rural park-like spaces, define functions and reinforce the character of the site”.
Meanwhile, there are also plans to plant a border of trees around the cemetery site to make it “visually appealing” and to encourage the growth of wildlife. This will be supported by flower beds and seasonal bulb species like crocus, narcissus and iris.
Green infrastructure policies state that cemeteries should be multifunctional green spaces that serve as a focal point for the community. Therefore, in addition to being a place for reflection, the proposed development would be “carefully managed as a valuable area of publicly accessible green infrastructure and to increase the variety of habitats provided on the site”.
The development plan recognizes the need for additional burial spaces in the area, stating Worting Road Cemetery, operated by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, “is expected to reach capacity in the near future”. The proposed scheme would help alleviate future capacity issues and plans have been put in place to mitigate any drainage issues that may arise.
A flood risk assessment found that the development “will not increase the risk of flooding in the wider catchment area subject to appropriate management of surface runoff flowing from the site”. Management strategies will include surface water storage and alternate dewatering of groundwater encountered during construction.
The designers stressed that “special consideration” was given to the location of the site and that their plans would provide a much-needed cemetery in the area. A standard consultation will end on April 4 and the results of the application are currently expected to be published on June 10. A full review of the site plan and designs can be found here.
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