PLANS for the expansion of Eyemouth Cemetery have been rubber-stamped.

Scottish Borders Council submitted an in-house planning application for the change of use of land to extend the cemetery, including alterations to existing parking bays, new access and associated work on land to the east of the burial ground in Coldingham Road.

The work will also incorporate the formation of new burial lairs separated by a central footway access; cut-off perimeter drainage, landscaping and fencing, with areas of widening and resurfacing of the existing carriageway and localised realignment of some kerb-lines.

The application was submitted after Messrs Holequest Limited were commissioned by SBC to undertake an investigation to determine ground conditions relative to the proposed expansion of the cemetery.

In his report approving the application, Paul Duncan, SBC’s assistant planning officer, says: “Of further relevance in consideration of the principle of the proposed development is the cemetery provision policy in the council’s next Local Development Plan, which is due to be adopted shortly.

“The policy aims to support the development of new cemeteries, as well as the expansion of existing cemeteries, where it can be demonstrated that there is a need for the use, and that the use can be supported at the proposed site. There are known capacity issues at Eyemouth cemetery, which this proposal seeks to address.

“The Scottish Badgers organisation raised a concern regarding potential impacts to badgers at the outset of this application.

“Comments were obtained from the applicant on this matter, and relayed to the Scottish Badgers organisation for their consideration, who did not provide any further comments in response.

“The comments from the applicant include a commitment to adopt a number of simple protective measures which can be secured by planning condition on a precautionary basis.

“The likelihood of the development impacting badgers was also verbally discussed with the council’s ecology officer who did not consider the characteristics of the site to be suitable in such regards.”