Dear Editor

We would like to take this opportunity to respond to the letter published on 1.3.13 by the (unnamed) Concerned Resident writing about Syston Cemetery and Claiming there has been some secrecy over the cemetery land search. Hard working town councillors have been searching for over 20 years. We recall that an article was published originally when the search for land was intensified in the Grapevine inviting residents to inform Syston Town Council if they knew of any landowners that would be prepared to sell their Syston land for such a purpose. This offer still stands.

In January 2001 (updated in September 2010) County Councillor Dave Houseman after many months of research wrote an excellent comprehensive Syston Cemetery report, which included the historical background of the existing and still used Victorian Cemetery and Chapel, as well as a note that Syston Town Council had explored, with help from Charnwood Borough Council, all the potential land acquisition sites, outside of the floodplain, for a Cemetery extension.

He attached a 1998 sequential Syston Cemetery land search report written by a Charnwood Borough Council Principal Local Plans Officer which stated that there are no realistic opportunities for land provision within the existing settlement limits.

In 2000 Syston Town Council obtained advice from the District Valuation Office and Charnwood Borough Council again, and over the following years Commissioned land agents all to no avail.

The Syston boundaries have not changed so unfortunately the opportunity to acquire suitable non-flood plain land has become non-existent because any other land is seen to have residential development potential, making the cost prohibitive.

The first burial in Syston’s Cemetery was 137 years ago when the population was less than 3,000 and space is now extremely limited. The growing number of residents of Syston need and expect the town council to provide a Cemetery that will still be in use in 100 years and plans are in place now for this, subject to planning permission, however, any help or advice from residents really would be appreciated.

The Town Council will hold a public consultation concerning their proposals for a new cemetery on Friday 15th March 2013 in The Brookside Suite at Syston Community Centre from 3pm to 8pm. All residents of Syston, Queniborough and Barkby are Cordially invited to attend the Consultation to view the plans. Fiona Bellinger of Bellinger Design, Landscape Architects, who designed the cemetery, will be in attendance to respond to any queries.

Tom Barkley and Eric Vardy

Charnwood Borough and Syston Town Councillors.