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Woodland and meadow grave plan as Worthing looks to develop natural burial site

Released: Wednesday, 06 March 2019

A natural burial site is set to be established in Worthing to offer woodland and wild flower meadow places of rest.

Worthing Borough Council is seeking to purchase 10 hectares, about the size of 15 football pitches, of sloping arable farmland next to the existing crematorium to develop the service after identifying increasing demand for such burials.

The site, in the South Downs National Park, will need planning permission and will only go ahead after a satisfactory environmental impact assessment. The Council is to spend £100,000 to carry out research and due diligence into the plan.

If the plan is viable relatives would be able to choose between a woodland and meadow grave settings, the woodland being planted around the meadow. Smaller cremated remain graves would also be offered.

A study already undertaken of the site by the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium has already concluded that it is ‘ideal for use as a natural burial site.’ The nearest existing natural burial site is 11 miles away on the outskirts of Brighton.

In a report to this week’s meeting of Adur and Worthing Councils Joint Strategic Committee (JSC) officers state the proposed site would have minimal set-up costs given its proximity to the crematorium and would help take pressure off Durrington Cemetery by offering an alternative.

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Digital and Environmental Services, Cllr Edward Crouch, said:

"I welcome this proposal which reflects a demand for different kinds of burial. The site is perfect in that it is a very serene spot and also right next to Worthing Crematorium thus enabling us to manage it efficiently."

Members of the JSC agreed to give the go-ahead to prepare plans to purchase the land subject to planning permission being granted and environmental impact assessments being favourable.

(PR19-042)

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