PLANS for a new cemetery at Ipsley Meadow have moved forward as the “clock is nearly running out” on burial provision in Redditch.

Redditch’s cabinet members were warned that Redditch families may have to bury loved ones elsewhere unless action is taken on the borough's ailing burial provision.

Cabinet members met last night to vote on recommendations that the council continue to provide new burial provision; that Ipsley Church Lane be progressed as the preferred option to provide new provision and for £320,000 to be budgeted to progress the plan.

The cabinet voted unanimously in favour of recommendations, paving the way for the Ipsley Meadow scheme to progress.

Councillor Aled Evans, portfolio holder for environmental services, said: “We’re in a position where the clock is nearly running out. This is not an acceptable position to be in as a local authority, we have six to 12 months left of new burial provision and once that runs out it’s going to affect quite a few substantial families who are not going to be able to bury loved ones in the borough.”

He added it would be a “dereliction of duty” not to make a decision following years of the debate on the issue.

Backing the recommendation, councillor Matt Dormer, leader of the council, said: “The can is not recognisable as a can it has been kicked so much.”

The cabinet heard that the Ipsley site is preferred as it had the shortest time to implement and has the potential to create multigenerational provision for years to come.

The other options considered were for the council to provide no new burial provision; to reuse Plymouth Road Cemetery or to develop parcels of land surrounding the existing Abbey Cemetery around Bordesley Abbey.

It comes as a planning application for change of use to land at Ipsley Meadow was passed by the planning committee in October, despite more than 800 objections from the public.

Objections to preferring the Ipsley site were also voiced at Monday’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, where the Ipsley Meadow option received two objections from councillors.

Vice- chair of the committee, councillor Jennifer Wheeler, told cabinet the issue of burial provision in Redditch had been a “controversial and emotive” issue for residents.

She pointed to public speakers at Monday’s meeting who had concerns about the public consultation process around the plans and the recreational use of the Ipsley site.

Cllr Aled Evans sought to allay fears, adding: “People don’t want an old Victorian cemetery popping up on their doorstep but that’s not what we’re seeking to do. These are not the plans we have for this development.”

The cabinet heard any new cemetery would be designed in a biodiverse memorial garden style.

A full planning application for developing a cemetery at Ipsley Meadow is yet to be submitted.