THE change of use from Iplsey Meadow to a burial ground has been granted by Redditch Borough Council Planning Committee.

A vote was passed with eight councillors in favour and one councillor against the plans.

This is despite 837 objections from residents concerned about the destruction of a widely used open green space.

Officers at the planning meeting on October 13 emphasised that burial provision in the borough is running out and alternative options are needed for 2022.

A representative for the council’s bereavement services said: “The current provision of Abbey Cemetery is located within Arrow Vale Country Park and is bounded by well used walking routes and Abbey Stadium which holds regular events throughout the year so is similar to this site."

Nearby resident Ian Soady said Arrow Valley Country Park is a factor as to why people move to the town.

“Visitors to the cemetery expect a peaceful and quiet setting this is inconsistent with expectations of public open space which include vigorous exercise and noisy play,” said Mr Soady.

“The proximity of the BMX and skate parks would also detract from the peaceful nature of the cemetery.”

Councillor for Matchborough, Alex Fogg said objections fall into three broad areas of concern – loss of green recreational communal land, effect on wildlife and environment and traffic and inappropriate transport links.  

“The loss of the area is detrimental to health and wellbeing of residents as its well-used throughout the day and there are no proposals to replace this communal space in the area,” said Cllr Fogg.

“There will be an effect on wildlife and environment as grass snakes and great crested newts habit the area.

“Ipsley Meadow has poor public transport to the rest of the town, so it is not an appropriate location to place a cemetery.”

Planning officers pointed out that this application is for change for use only, and a separate application will need to be lodged for full planning permission for the burial ground.