Plans press ahead for new Northumberland cemetery

Hopes of securing land for a much-needed new cemetery in Belford have made progress.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 7:00 am
The former Belford Middle School site.
The former Belford Middle School site.

A parcel of land at the former St Mary’s Middle School, which closed in summer 2018, has been identified as a potential candidate.

Coun Guy Renner-Thompson, local county councillor and parish council chairman, said: “It’s moved forward a little bit.

“The council, the agent and the church have agreed that if the project went forward we would have a right of access over the school grounds to that field at the back.

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“Now the potential purchaser has agreed that we can move forward.”

Belford Parish Council expressed interest in the idea at the July meeting.

Coun Renner-Thompson revealed that there could be a community asset transfer of the land to the parish council.

There is limited space left at the cemetery at St Mary’s Parish Church, a concern previously raised by the parish council.

However, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) has responded to those concerns by revealing that plots are still available.

“We’ve had a letter from the PCC which says that there is some space left in the cemetery and as they’re clearing away bracken they’re finding more space,” said Coun Renner-Thompson. “They’re optimistic that they’ve got enough plots to keep them going for the time being.”

Northumberland County Council has previously said there is also spare capacity at Berwick and Tweedmouth.Coun Reg Carruthers said: “If you are born and bred in Belford you want to be buried here.”

Meanwhile, the parish council has agreed an £800 donation to St Mary’s for grass cutting and clock maintenance.