Councillors to vote on new cemetery bid

Concept art for proposed cemetery
Concept art for proposed cemetery

Councillors will vote on a bid to create a new cemetery with up to 50 years’ of burial space.

Crawley Borough Council’s Development Control Committee will discuss the proposals for land off Old Brighton Road North, Pease Pottage, at a meeting on November 10.

Planning officers have recommended the bid to convert the four hectare former girl guides campsite south of the A264 roundabout at Tollgate Hill, Broadfield.

A planning report stated the cemetery would allow the council to provide burials after the closure of Snell Hatch cemetery in West Green.

It was anticipated the proposed site, which is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), would become available in 2017.

The report stated: “It is considered that the applicant has demonstrated that there is an exceptional need for the development within the High Weald AONB, and there would not be a loss of open space provision.

“Impacts upon the highway would be acceptable, and access would be provided for cyclists, pedestrians, public transport and cars.

“The impact on the character of the area, ecology and trees would be mitigated and compensated on site.”

Access would be from the roundabout junction.

A new pedestrian and vehicular access off the A264 was proposed under the council’s scheme.

A shared cycle/pedestrian path from the top of Tollgate Hill to a new Toucan crossing was proposed.

The report stated the proposals had addressed comments made by a Cycle Forum and the highways authority, West Sussex County Council.

The cemetery would be created in two phases with a total loss of 1,164 trees and at least 25m from any homes.

A car park with 28 standard and four disabled bays would be made in the first phase.

Twenty-one extra spaces in three locations around footpaths within the cemetery would be made in the second.

Additional parking could be provided along the access road.

A planning document stated: “The site would be re-graded to both improve access within the site and provide a better ground conditions for the site to be used for burials.

“The Councils Arboricultural Officer has also commented that there is no objection to the proposed development and subject therefore to conditions requiring the installation of the tree protection measures, works to improve the retained woodland through a habitat enhancement plan to compensate for the lost woodland, and some replacement planting, it is considered the loss of trees is outweighed by the benefit of providing a future cemetery for the residents of Crawley.”