Controversial plans for a new cemetery in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Hazlemere have been given the green light despite concerns about parking and traffic.

A new cemetery has been talked about for years as High Wycombe’s graveyard is almost at capacity – and a field off of Penn Road was chosen by Wycombe District Council as the new location.

This was despite concerns from nearby residents who slammed it as a “vanity project” and raised fears that dozens of cars would use nearby residential road Queensway to park in for burials.

Vehicles will enter and exit from Penn Road, while hearses will exit through a locked gate on Queensway.

At a planning committee meeting at Wycombe District Council on Wednesday night, councillors unanimously pushed the proposals through.

Bucks Free Press:

This means the four-hectare field will be turned into a cemetery with a low-level administration building, maintenance storage area and car park.

It will also feature a columbaria for ashes, reflective pools, a snowdrop garden and woodland walk.

Cllr Hugh McCarthy raised concerns about visitors to the cemetery having to enter and exit onto the “very, very busy” Penn Road.

He also said the modern admin building was a bit “stark”, adding: “Graveyards are a bit barren when they are new and there seems to be a lack of planting planned here. Trees along each of the three avenues through the cemetery would break it up a bit in its early days.”

Catherine Oliver, who represents the area for Wycombe District Council, agreed that the area “could do with softening”, and agreed that more trees would be welcome.

She said: “The addition of a feature tree or some trees to soften the avenues and planting would do that. I understand residents’ concerns about this and it is a shame to lose the field to this but it has been earmarked for a cemetery for as long as I have been a councillor and we do need to address the need.”

Cllr Sebert Graham added that the new cemetery was “necessary”.