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Traffic fears over extension to Hinton Park woodland burial ground

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A GRIEVING father fears that traffic generated by a proposed extension to Hinton Park woodland burial ground will spoil the peace of his son’s resting place.

The concern was among nearly 30 objections to plans by Funeral Services Ltd to use what is presently agricultural land as a cemetery.

If approved by New Forest District Council, the site would accommodate a further 9,500 burial plots and 2,750 places for urns.

Wyndham Road is main way into the burial ground
Wyndham Road is main way into the burial ground

The application said the present burial ground was “near capacity” but objectors claimed that the entrance from Wyndham Road is too narrow to accommodate any more traffic.

One objection lodged with NFDC told how he visited his son’s grave three or four times a week, adding: “I had 80-plus guests at my son’s funeral and the congestion of traffic trying to access the grounds was manic.”

He said “even on a quiet day” the journey to the ground can be “hazardous”, adding: “I have no objection whatsoever to the increased burial area, it is a lovely way to say goodbye to a loved one – but surely the infrastructure must be in place to cope with the increase of traffic.”

Residents living near the burial ground said the single entrance to the ground via Wyndham Road is officially designated as a footpath with a 10mph speed limit. But they claim motorists, including mourners, frequently speed along it.

One grandmother said that during walks with her grandson she has had to push him into bushes “numerous times” to avoid traffic.

Nearly 30 objections to the plans have been received
Nearly 30 objections to the plans have been received

Another pleaded with planning officers: “Please, no more traffic or someone is going to get killed.”

One resident called the amount of traffic “overwhelming”, with others saying that on special days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Christmas it was “non-stop”.

Despite the residents’ objections Bransgore Parish Council has recommended approval, saying: “There were no issues raised with the proposals or their impact on the local area or neighbouring amenity.”

Hampshire County Council countryside services said it was against the proposal unless work was carried out to existing footpaths, or the entry road diverted to avoid pedestrians and vehicles “conflicting”.

NFDC’s landscaping department also objected to the plan, saying the extension would cause “harm to existing landscape character”.

The application argued that the “overall number of burials per day or week will not increase as a result of the development and as such there are no net added additional traffic movements or associated impacts envisaged”.

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