COUNCILLORS approved plans for a natural burial ground in Keeston after much discussion this week.

Leedam Natural Heritage’s James Leedam told members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday that the company ran eight natural burial sites across the UK.

The Keeston application has been made by Sarah Wickham,  a funeral celebrant the committee heard.

Objections were made on the grounds of traffic, drainage, impact on residents and wildlife.

Mr Leedam added that the sites had “never experienced any issues with foraging wildlife.”

The plan includes a memorial shelter, parking area and pedestrian access to the site where people can be buried in a “sustainable” way using only biodegradable materials while the land continued to be managed, in this case grazed by sheep.

Local member Cllr Jamie Adams said “initially there was a lot of concern about this application in the village” with access a major concern, although the condition to provide a passing place went some way to mitigating this.

He added that his main concern now was why a regional facility would be placed in Keeston, next to a village, rather than somewhere off the A40.

The report to the meeting on December 10 adds: “When burials take place graves would be dug to approximately 1.2 metres. Following burial of the coffin the soil would be returned in compacted layers, with turf placed on top. It is stated that this depth would provide adequate depth of earth over the coffin, whilst allowing the body to decompose.”

There would be no gravestones but locations plotted and recorded in case future identification is needed.

The committee approved the plan unanimously.

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