PA22/10845: Proposals for a new Bodmin cemetery could be in jeopardy after a £600,000 quote for water works. 

Bodmin Town Council had hoped to build a new cemetery on land off Crabtree Lane, near to Bodmin Beacon after being offered the land to do so by Cornwall Council. 

The planning permission proposes the construction of a cemetery grounds with access and an outline proposal in respect of a proposed welcome centre comprising of an office, meeting place and toilets and an equipment storage area.

The application comes after years of discussion between Bodmin Town Council and Cornwall Council’s infrastructure and estates team as part of an objective of securing an additional area of land which would be suitable for a cemetery, which is required due to a limited capacity at the sites presently maintained by the town council.

In the application, Situ8 planning consultancy on behalf of Bodmin Town Council revealed that the proposed site, if approved, would provide sufficient capacity for the next 50 to 60 years.

They wrote: “Consent is sought for a hybrid application for a new cemetery to serve the expanding town of Bodmin, with full details of the site layout including access provided, and outline permission sought in respect of a proposed Welcome Centre and ancillary groundskeeper/storage associated with the proposed use.

“Bodmin Town Council currently conducts approximately 20-25 burials and interments per year. However, there is limited space within existing cemeteries in the area and the town is expected to grow considerably within the next decade, with approximately 3,000 houses expected to be built before 2030. The proposed cemetery would have a capacity of approximately 1,100 formal and natural spaces, which would allow for the increased population and burial/interment requirements over the next 50-60 years.”

The proposed cemetery would involve alterations to access to the field access to enable public pedestrian and vehicle access, 24-hour access from residents, 25 car parking spaces (to include accessible spaces), a welcome centre to act as a meeting and gathering space, a contemplation garden and areas for reflection and groundskeeper facilities in addition to both formal and natural burial areas.

However, during surveys required as part of planning permission requirements, the town council received a nasty surprise when a survey by South West Water on the land revealed the existence of a previously unknown water main. 

With the likelihood of work being required to divert the 350mm trunk water main from the Cornwall Council owned land, it means to do so could expose Bodmin Town Council to the £600,000 bill if they proceeded. 

While the planning application for the cemetery is still live, Bodmin Town Council members expressed concern that the scheme might fall through as a result. 

At a recent Policy and Resources Committee Meeting, the Mayor of Bodmin, Cllr Philip Cooper questioned whether it might be worth handing back responsibility for building a new cemetery back to Cornwall Council, given that some town councils in North Cornwall operate their own cemeteries where in other parts of Cornwall, they are the responsibility of the unitary authority.

He said: “Towns like us in North Cornwall are both paying for their own cemeteries (ones owned by town councils) and also for other towns, where Cornwall Council own them through their council tax. 

“Could we not address this with Cornwall Council, and they pay to build the new cemetery?”

PA23/02139: A bid for an extension to a house to become a property for a young family has been refused by Cornwall Council. 

Mr C Walton applied to the local authority for permission for the works at Harold Cottage, Jubilee Road, Pensilva, Liskeard, under the application name: “extension to front elevation of cottage to provide additional living accommodation for young family”

Cornwall Council’s officer planning report accompanying the application described the plans as thus: “This application refers to a two-storey semi-detached residential dwelling located in Pensilva and within a World Heritage Site. The dwelling fronts Jubilee Road with offroad parking provision and outdoor amenity space to the front (south) of the property and a small amount of amenity space to the rear. Approval is sought for the construction of a single storey extension to the principal elevation.

“The original dwelling was a small traditional, two storey dwelling of simplistic design, comprising living room, kitchen, bathroom and porch to the ground floor and 2 small bedrooms to the first floor understood to have been a miners cottage dating to the 1800’s.”

It concluded: “Taking these factors into account, on balance it is considered that the proposal is not acceptable. For the reasons set out above, it is considered that the application fails to accord with the development plan. All other matters raised have been taken into account, and in the absence of any significant benefits which would outweigh the harm identified, the application is recommended for refusal.”

Cornwall Council refused the application, telling the applicants: “By reason of the overtly modern and boxlike design, size, orientation and placement of the proposed extension, in addition to the planning history of the site including previous large extensions, the proposed development is considered to further alter the appearance of the building, eroding the remaining historic character of the traditional former miners dwelling. The development would not conserve or enhance the historic landscape/townscape resulting in harm to the authenticity and integrity of the Outstanding Universal Value of the designated World Heritage Site which is not outweighed by any public benefit”