Plans to build homes on the graves of people buried at Wellow Baptist Church Isle of Wight, as recently as 2012 have been branded ‘appalling’ by their relatives.
BBC News writes:
Wellow Baptist Church on the Isle of Wight has not been used in two years and has been earmarked for development. Tony Daniell, whose wife died seven years ago, said he had been assured he could be buried alongside her behind the chapel. So far, 46 objections against the plans have been raised. Many residents who have relatives buried at Wellow are among the complainants, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service. Colin Wilcox, from Brighstone, discovered his great aunts and uncles were buried at Wellow when researching his family history. ‘I think it’s appalling really, that they want to build houses here. These are my relatives,’ he said.
The church said it was taking concerns seriously but was confident ‘agreeable responses’ could be reached. According to the plans, Wellow Baptist Church – which was built in 1815 – would be replaced by two semi-detached houses and a further disused property next to Colwell Baptist Church would be knocked down and three houses built in its place. The profit from the sale of the new housing would go towards redeveloping the church at Colwell.
Susan Aggio, from Newport, said: ‘My nan, Sylvia Fitzgerald, was buried here in 2010 and my granddad has a letter giving him permission to be buried with her. This is already causing the family upset — my granddad especially. ‘I feel very sad that this is even being considered due to the amount of pain it is causing, and will continue to cause.’
Colwell Baptist minister Dave Burton said the chapel was in need of urgent structural repair and renovation. He said: ‘Understandably, there are many legal restrictions around what can and can’t be built over, or near to, a private burial ground and the project would, obviously, have to comply with all these restrictions if it were to proceed.’