Planning permission for the extension of Northampton Cemetery
Enzygo have worked closely with Harborough District Council. In 2016 we published the Harborough Cemetery and Burial Strategy, which identified a significant deficit in burial capacity. The council have been proactive in trying to identify new burial space, and Enzygo have completed comprehensive site assessments for a number of sites.
An expansion to an existing cemetery is a logical, practical approach to increasing capacity, and the existing Northampton Cemetery in Market Harborough was identified as having the potential for a modest expansion. Enzygo was then instructed to prepare and submit a planning application for the proposed extension.
The application site was subject to two key constraints – the site’s physical constraints, and the planning land use as the site was allocated as recreation space in the adopted Local Plan. For planning permission to be secured both constraints would have to fully addressed in the submission.
Enzygo’s planning team coordinated their in house geo-environmental and hydrology technical teams to undertake ground investigations by installing and monitoring boreholes to determine the depth to groundwater, to demonstrate the suitability of the site for the proposed use.
When the ground conditions had been confirmed as being suitable Enzygo’s arboricultural team completed an arboricultural survey and method statement to determine the relevant root protection zones.
Enzygo’s landscape team then developed a sensitive landscape plan that was able to arrange the burial plots to the identified constraints, and produced a detailed planting plan to ensure the proposed cemetery would sensitively integrate with the existing cemetery and trees, provide a suitable environment for quiet contemplation and provide sensitive boundaries to the adjacent recreation uses.
As the extension would be into land adjacent to Harborough Leisure Centre, and the site was part of an allocation for open space for sport and recreation within the local plan, Sports England would be a key statutory consultee for the planning application.
To address this policy issue the Enzygo planning team engaged with Sports England via a pre-application enquiry in order to open dialogue. Enzygo was able to demonstrate that the modest site represented informal recreation space that was of insuffi cient dimensions to support a sports pitch, and so was able to satisfy Sports England’s Policy Exceptions. This resulted in Sports England having no objection to the planning application through the consultation process.
By engaging strategically with Sports England through preapplication dialogue, and working closely with the Case Officer, the application received no objections through the application process.
Enzygo secured a timely planning permission by unanimous decision at planning committee, with no pre-commencement conditions so the extension to Northampton Cemetery can be constructed quickly and so provide much needed burial plots in Market Harborough.
Date: May – October 2022
Client: Harborough District
Discipline: Planning (interdisciplinary, with input from Geo, Hydrology, Landscape and Arboriculture)