Shepton Mallet cemetery expansion proposal from council

A cemetery in a Somerset town could be expanded in a £15,000 project to secure a further 15 years of burial space.

Mendip District Council wants to landscape a sloped section of Shepton Mallet cemetery by increasing its height by about 3ft (90cm).

Councillor John Parnham said: "It will mean that local people can continue to be buried alongside past generations of their families."

The project will not disturb existing graves, which date back to the 1870s.

'Best option'

Any memorials that do exist on this section of land will be removed and stored until the work is completed.

Other sites have been explored for a new cemetery, but the council said the soil in those locations was either too rocky or the sites were too inaccessible for visitors.

Corporate manager at the authority Donna Nolan said: "This is a sensitive project and as such we have spent a good deal of time looking carefully at the options open to us, including other possible sites around the area.

"However the landscaping working at the existing cemetery still provides the best option."

Cabinet members are due to decide on the scheme on 6 November.

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