Hefty bill for council to remove intrusive trees from cemetery plots

A local authority has had to set aside thousands of pounds to fell trees obstructing cemetery plots that were secured by a 40-year-old contract.

Image: Tom Thai
Image: Tom Thai

At a meeting earlier this month, Mendip District Council cabinet heard that in the 1970s the council sold many empty burial plots in Shepton Mallet Cemetery to what was described as "a prominent local family", and that these are gradually being used as family members pass away.

But since the contracts were signed, several trees have grown so much as to render most of the remaining plots unusable. The family has said it is unwilling to consider alternative plots.

Having consulted its lawyers, the council says it is obliged to make the plots available, requiring the removal of five mature conifers and their roots. It has said will plant new trees elsewhere in the cemetery, and has put aside £15,000 for the work.

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