New 500 burial space cemetery planned near church in Norton Canes

A new cemetery could be provided for a Staffordshire village if plans are given the green light.

Plans have been submitted for about 500 new burial spaces on land adjacent to St James C Of E Church, in Norton Canes, which is almost full.

An application was approved for an almost identical proposal but without an access pathway in 2015 but the consent has lapsed so a fresh plan has been submitted with the pathway.

Chairman of Norton Canes Parish Council, John Preece, said: "We're hoping this will be enough land for burials for about 50 years.

"We're estimating that it will be for 500 burials but the ways people are buried might be changed in the future, such as standing up, and more people might be able to be buried on the site.

"I can't say for certain but just looking at the church it looks like it will only be able to bury people for about another year, there's not that much space left.

"As it stands at the moment if all burial spaces are full, people from Norton Canes will have to go to Rugeley.

"There are a lot more cremations these days but people still want the choice.

"People want to be buried near to their loved ones."

Mr Preece said that there will be some work to do on the land but it is estimated if the plans are accepted the site will be ready in two years.

"If it doesn't get passed there's no other area that we can identify that is near the church," he added.

The news comes after plans were approved for a new crematorium a few miles away in Cannock earlier this year.

The plans, which were approved by Cannock Chase District Council's planning committee in January, will see the crematorium built on land south of Five Ways Island.

A ceremony hall will be built on the site, as well as memorial areas, a garden of remembrance and car park.

The hall will accommodate up to 90 people seated and 20 more standing, as well as parking spaces for 73 vehicles.

London-based Horizon Cremation, which applied for the development, said most Cannock people had been forced to travel to Stafford Crematorium or to Bushbury in Wolverhampton, or Streetly, near Walsall.

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