Developers hoping to build new homes promise to treat any body remains in a moral way

PUBLISHED: 12:16 17 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:13 02 June 2010

Former church and buriel ground in Upwell

Former church and buriel ground in Upwell

By John Elworthy DEVELOPERS hoping to build five homes at the rear of a former chapel assured parish councillors there are no bodies buried on the site. Cindy Oliver Ltd wants to build to the rear of Old Upwell Baptist Chapel, which was recently converte

By John Elworthy

DEVELOPERS hoping to build five homes at the rear of a former chapel assured parish councillors there are no bodies buried on the site.

Cindy Oliver Ltd wants to build to the rear of Old Upwell Baptist Chapel, which was recently converted to housing.

Ian Groome, the company's solicitor, said that if they come across any remains "they will of course deal with those in a moral and reverent way" They would immediately notify the "appropriate authority".

His letter to parish councillors said Cindy Oliver Ltd had been assured by the previous owner that there were no bodies in the development area.

When the area was released by the Baptist Union Corporation Ltd for housing in 2007, they were given to understand that there were no bodies buried in the land.

"Our client has confirmed that as part of the development there will be a small area left to one side as a Garden of Remembrance," said Mr Groome. "This being for the use of any of the local people who had any member of their family buried in the former Baptist Churchyard."

Mr Groome said his clients did" not want there to be any problem with any local residents and they were "very aware of the way in which this development has been dealt with before. They do not want there to be any repetition of the problems that have occurred in the past."

In a design statement to West Norfolk Council, agents Taylor Roberts Ltd say the homes will be built on land which was originally to form the rear garden of the converted chapel.

Three houses for the site were approved in 2005 but the current application is a re-submission of plans submitted but withdrawn earlier this year to meet "concerns voiced by the council and by some local residents."

As a result, says Taylor Roberts, the application has been amended to meet those concerns and five "modest" two bedroom homes were now proposed.

"It is understood there has been some local concern in relation to the treatment of graves and gravestones in relation to the previous change of use to residential use and in respect of the actions of the developer," says the report.

"The applicant company does wish to make clear that it has had no part in the destruction of any gravestone, or has been in any way responsible for any disturbance of any grave.


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