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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Expansion talks for Millom graves site

MILLOM cemetery could be expanded into a neighbouring park.

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CLOSE TO CAPACITY: St George’s Road cemetery, in Millom LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50041136B002

The St George’s Road burial ground is running close to capacity and the closest Copeland Borough Council-run provision is 25 miles away in Thornhill.

The borough council has begun talks with Millom Town Council about a new cemetery site in the town, which the Evening Mail understands is likely to be an expansion into the neighbouring Millom Park.

Keith Parker, head of neighbourhoods for Copeland Borough Council, said discussions were going well.

He said: “We are currently in discussions with Millom Town Council about the expansion of the cemetery in the town.

These discussions are going well but there is work that needs to be done before we can be certain that this new location will be appropriate.”

A full meeting of Copeland council, held in September, heard how the search for a cemetery site in Millom had turned up “no suitable alternative”, despite £140,000 being made available to purchase a new plot of land.

It was also revealed that, at the current rate of burials, the graveyard could be full within a couple of years.

Reverend Robert Bracegirdle expressed reservations as to whether the cemetery could expand into the park, in light of other planned developments.

He said: “With the other developing usages of the park, in particular the BMX track and skate park schemes, I would be doubtful whether the park would offer enough space to accommodate a cemetery as well, and how those modes of use would sit together.”

As well as burial plots still being available at Millom’s parish churches – St Anne’s, St Luke’s and Holy Trinity – Rev Bracegirlde says the capacity of the St George’s Road cemetery may be larger than expected.

He said: “There’s possibly a bit more capacity in there than first envisaged.

“It doesn’t remove the need for Copeland, as the burial authority, to be looking at fresh possibilities and sites.”

Millom Town Councillor, Jack Park, said a solution needed to be found.

He said: “Millom people shouldn’t have to travel up to Thornhill to visit a gravesite. Millom needs a functioning cemetery.”

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