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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Fears eased as Millom Cemetery extension site is earmarked

GRIEVING relatives will not have to travel 25 miles to visit their loved ones’ graves after a site was identified for a cemetery extension.

Millom Cemetery only has approximately 10 months of burial space remaining and concerns had been raised that, without an extension the nearest place the dead could be buried would be at Thornhill Cemetery, south of Egremont.

A report ahead of Copeland Borough Council’s executive meeting next week states a preferred site has now undergone an initial ground water assessment – which identifies a low to very low risk of ground water contamination.

Millom town councillor, Frank McPhillips expressed his relief that the situation seemed on the verge of being resolved.

He said: “I’m pleased. Without this extension we would have had to go to Thornhill, which is quite a trek.

The land identified lies in Millom Park by St George’s Church, St George’s Road.

There are still spaces in the graveyard at Holy Trinity Church, but it is owned by the Diocese of Carlisle and there are strict rules about burial at the site.

Cllr McPhillips said: “We have been in consultation with Copeland Council for about seven or eight months, so it is a big relief.

“There were other places in the town we thought were suitable for the extension, but they turned out not to be suitable.”

The results of the initial assessment have been submitted to The Environment Agency.

Leanne Barwise, senior accounting officer at Copeland Borough Council, states in the report: “Signs are encouraging that no further ground water assessment work will be needed.

“If confirmed, and subject to ongoing negotiations about accommodation works to gain access to the site, the potential remains to develop the new site before the existing cemetery extension is fully utilised.”

The council’s budget for the development has been restored to £149,216 after £27,452 was reinstated from cash reserves.

The budget had been temporarily reduced after the council used some money for emergency work to tackle a subsidence issue at Gillfoot mine shaft in Whitehaven in September last year.

Copeland Borough councillors will discuss the issue on Tuesday at the monthly executive committee meeting in Whitehaven.

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