01:00PM, Thursday 07 November 2019
Wokingham Borough Council's offices.
Concerns have been raised over a planning application to change the use of a field and develop it into a cemetery.
Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) has submitted an application to develop a field adjacent to Church Lane in Ruscombe into a cemetery to potentially accommodate 272 graves.
The site is located close to homes, a railway line and the Grade I-listed St James’ church, which already has a cemetery and parking.
Concerns have been raised about the impact on traffic and parking, the wildlife, and the planning notice not initially being displayed.
The parochial church council of the Parish of Ruscombe and Twyford, the body responsible for St James’, said: “We are concerned by [the applications] conclusion that the existing ‘informal’ parking arrangements are sufficient.”
Ruscombe Parish Council cited parking, the lack of consideration of the archaeological status of the area, concerns over the high levels of the water table and water contamination and no initial planning notice as its reasons to object.
Cllr Paul Cassidy said: “I could think of better uses for it as a community piece of land.
“We were going to put a community pond there and some wild flower planting and [make it] a place where people can go and feed the ducks.”
A spokeswoman from WBC said: “There was an oversight and the [planning] notice didn’t go up immediately. As soon as it was brought to our attention, a notice was put up and the period for comments extended to reflect this.”
She added the application ‘is due to go to committee in December, we cannot comment on a live application’.
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