AN extension to Eyemouth Cemetery will involve moving the local family support centre which lies in the middle of the plot earmarked for the extension.
Planning permission was granted last week for the change of use from amenity land, family support centre and car park at Coldingham Road, Eyemouth, to an extension to the cemetery.
Scottish Borders Council is proposing to develop the site in two phases. The open space to the east will be developed first - providing 166 layers. Access to the site will remain the same apart from hard-standing being provided for hearses to the rear of the existing garage.
Eyemouth family support unit, run by the social work children and families service, will eventually move into part of the old Eyemouth High School, probably in around ten years time.
The family support unit and car park site will be developed in phase two, providing a further 216 layers and 17 car parking spaces. Access to this extension to the cemetery will be via a new central route on the site of the family support unit once that has been demolished.
The area for the cemetery extension had been identified in the Scottish Borders Local Plan, and councillors at last week’s meeting were told that the existing cemetery in Eyemouth has reached capacity and the site in question was a logical extension to both parts of the cemetery.
One objection to the plan was received, one of the concerns raised being that hearses would pass immediately adjacent to the family centre which caters for vulnerable people, both adults and children. However, the planning officer in her report to councillors said: “The design statement indicates that an area of hard-standing will be provided for to the rear of the garage for hearses to park, screened from view by the fencing and the garage itself.
“The proposed use would generate traffic in connection with funerals (as does the existing cemetery site) but it is considered that the use of the site as a cemetery would not harm the residential amenities of the occupants of the neighbouring properties, particularly as this situation already exists.”