Undertakers do not like North Waltham proposal

Elizabeth Harris, director of funeral directors Spencer and Peyton, with Steve Vanhinsbergh from headstone firm B&V Masonry

Elizabeth Harris, director of funeral directors Spencer and Peyton, with Steve Vanhinsbergh from headstone firm B&V Masonry

First published in News by

UNDERTAKERS have told the borough council the site it has in mind for a new cemetery is wrong.

A group of seven firms has written to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council saying that the preferred site in North Waltham is too far out of town and may drive up costs.

In September, a borough committee voted for a cemetery on the 16.4-acre site next to Basingstoke Crematorium, off the A30 at North Waltham. They were asked to find somewhere to replace the council-owned Worting Road cemetery when it is full up in about 2022.

But Elizabeth Harris, director of Basingstoke-based funeral firm Spencer and Peyton, said the site should be closer to the town.

Mrs Harris wrote to the borough council on behalf of seven Hampshire firms asking for a meeting to discuss the plans. This is set to take place on November 21.

She said: “Our major concern is how are the general public meant to get there? Some people go the cemetery every day. If you are looking at a 16-mile round trip, then it will not be possible for some people.”

Mrs Harris added that proposals for a joint working arrangement with the neighbouring privately-run crematorium could drive up prices for services such as hiring out the chapel.

Her stance was backed by Steve Vanhinsbergh, director of Wootton St Lawrence-based headstone firm B&V Masonry.

He said: “The majority of people visiting are pensioners, some of whom are unable to drive, and need friends or public transport.”

The funeral directors say they would prefer to use land north of the junction of Kingsclere Road and Rooksdown Lane, near to the current NHS children’s cemetery.

Cllr Robert Donnell, the borough’s Cabinet chief responsible for the final decision, stressed that “no final decision has been made”. A council report admitted that the North Waltham site’s main drawback was “the relative distance from the town, with lack of public transport”.

Cllr Donnell said: “I believe that the council needs to carry out further feasibility studies and further consultation with all affected parties before we can move forward.”

Comments (3)

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2:55pm Fri 16 Nov 12

grannychris says...

i agree we need a bus that goes to the crematorium, even 1 per hour, that would give people time to visit loved ones , then the new cemetery would be in the right place to visit all loved ones. and i dont think there is a bus stop near .the childrens cemetery
i agree we need a bus that goes to the crematorium, even 1 per hour, that would give people time to visit loved ones , then the new cemetery would be in the right place to visit all loved ones. and i dont think there is a bus stop near .the childrens cemetery grannychris
  • Score: 0

4:55pm Fri 16 Nov 12

basing says...

As the parent of a child buried at Rooksdown I can add that there is no bus stop near the childrens cemetry on the A339 and is quite a trek for bereaved parents and families to walk from Roman Road. The current access road from the A339 towards Wootten St Lawrence is also dangerous as drivers don't expect cars to enter or exit the road and the road is blind for cars exiting the cemetry and onto the A339. The cemetry must be easily accessable for all residents, especially the elderly who are often unlikely to drive anymore, it needs to be within walking distance of the town and on a bus route. Rooksdown is not a suitable site.
As the parent of a child buried at Rooksdown I can add that there is no bus stop near the childrens cemetry on the A339 and is quite a trek for bereaved parents and families to walk from Roman Road. The current access road from the A339 towards Wootten St Lawrence is also dangerous as drivers don't expect cars to enter or exit the road and the road is blind for cars exiting the cemetry and onto the A339. The cemetry must be easily accessable for all residents, especially the elderly who are often unlikely to drive anymore, it needs to be within walking distance of the town and on a bus route. Rooksdown is not a suitable site. basing
  • Score: 0

9:00am Sat 17 Nov 12

THX 1138 says...

There is in fact a bus stop right by the Wootten St Lawrence turning on the A339, but only the hourly Newbury bus passes by it. However, you would then have to cross the A339 to get to the bus stop on the other side.

The Winklebury bus gets close - perhaps a footpath connection could be constructed from Roman Road/A339 to the cemetry. You can walk along the grass verge by the A339 but a footpath would be safer.
There is in fact a bus stop right by the Wootten St Lawrence turning on the A339, but only the hourly Newbury bus passes by it. However, you would then have to cross the A339 to get to the bus stop on the other side. The Winklebury bus gets close - perhaps a footpath connection could be constructed from Roman Road/A339 to the cemetry. You can walk along the grass verge by the A339 but a footpath would be safer. THX 1138
  • Score: 0

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