The Assistant Director Transportation, Design and Planning will submit a report (Document “W”) which sets out change of use of former allotment land to form extension to existing cemetery on the former Allotment Gardens, Necropolis Road, Bradford.
That the application be approved, subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1 to Document “W”.
(John Eyles - 01274 434380)
The Assistant Director Transportation, Design and Planning submitted a report (Document “W”) which set out an application for change of use of former allotment land to form an extension to the existing cemetery on the former Allotment Gardens, Necropolis Road, Bradford.
Members received a detailed presentation in respect of the application, including plans and photographs of the site. It was explained that works had already started on-site under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 which permitted such essential works as a result of the pandemic. It was also explained that the allotments had not been in use since 2015 and that the land had previously been very overgrown.
It was explained that concerns had been expressed by local residents about the boundary wall to the extension and the likelihood of it being misused as a shortcut into the cemetery. It was intended that the wall would be rebuilt and appropriate planting behind the wall would be put in place to prevent this possibility.
The neighbouring church had commented on the extension, asking that a portion of the land be used for an extension to their parking provision as there were already parking problems on the nearby roads. Members were advised that this application was for an extension to the cemetery only and that any request for the church to purchase some of the land would have to be made separately.
Further objections from residents in respect of the potential for lack of privacy would be dealt with by the planting of additional trees between the cemetery boundary and their gardens.
A further submission from a ward councillor which also raised concerns in respect of parking and the boundary wall was also presented.
Members queried whether the proposed boundary wall could be topped by railings to match those already in place as that would prevent access at that point. They were informed that this could be investigated.
A member also queried whether the extension was needed for the additional burials that the pandemic had necessitated and was advised that thus section of the cemetery had been nearing capacity and that, therefore, the extension would have been required in any event. In response to a further question, it was also explained that the Council did have provisions in place should mass burial become a necessity but that, to ensure the dignity of burial proceedings, this application had been made.
A member noted that the ward councillor’s concerns echoed those of the neighbouring church and asked what would need to be done to make some of the site into off street parking. He was advised that the church would need to contact the relevant department to ask for the land to be released and then make a separate application.
A representative of the church had joined the meeting but his comments were inaudible. The chair referred to his previously provided written comments, which were also about parking and asked that he liaise with the Principal Parks and Green Space Manager on this issue.
The officer representing the Council as the applicant joined the meeting and updated members on the progress of the works, stating that the extension was now complete but that it would not be put into use until al the existing provision had been used. He was mindful of issues of access from Necropolis Road and would be working with all affected parties to come to a solution. He also stressed that there would be no additional vehicle access, the only new access would be a pedestrian link. He advised that railings could be considered and members further advised that, if they were so mined, a condition on this decision would obviate the need for a further application.
The representative of the neighbouring church was then able to make himself heard and explained to the Committee that, while the need for the extension was not being objected to, it would be useful if the space was reduced by 10% to allow for the future use of both the cemetery and the church. Currently the church did not have any formal parking and would like to enter into an agreement with the Council to establish this. he also hoped that future burials immediately adjacent the church would be handled sensitively and suggested that the current proposal did not deal with all communities fairly.
In response, the Principal Engineer, Highway Development advised that members must consider the impact of this application and stated that as the purpose of the extension was to enable the cemetery to be used for a longer time rather than increase its frequency of use, there would be little additional impact. As such, issues of parking were a third party matter.
Members were further advised by the applicant that the whole of the extension would be required for future burials.
Members commented that they had sympathy for the views expressed by the church representative and that they would like to see all parties working together to find a solution.
That the application be approved, subject to the conditions set out in Appendix 1 to Document “W” and also subject to one additional condition and one action for Officers in the Sport and Culture Service:
(i) Within 12 months of the date of this permission, details of the boundary treatment along the southern boundary of the site onto Necropolis Road, which shall comprise a stone wall and railing, shall first be submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority and then be fully installed in accordance with the approved details. Reason: In the interests of visual amenity and to limit public access to the site and to accord with policies DS1 and DS2 of the Local Plan for Bradford; and,
(ii) That Officers in the Sport and Culture Service continue to work with the church to find a solution regarding parking.
ACTION: Assistant Director Transportation Design and Planning