Plans for a new memorial garden at a Northampton cemetery for parents who have lost young children were set to be approved by the borough council last night.
The authority’s planning committee were due to give the green light to a bid by charity Northamptonshire SANDS, to landscape an area by the grade II listed chapel at Towcester Road Cemetery.
The new garden would be located ‘adjacent to an area of the cemetery allocated for the burial of new babies’, according to papers released by the borough council, and would contain trees, benches and a central sculpture of a ‘baby held in hands’.
Planning officers had recommended the scheme for approval, stating in a report: “It is considered the proposal would be in keeping with the character of the wider Towcester Road Cemetery and would not have any significantly detrimental impacts on the continuing use of the cemetery.”
It added: “The proposal would be acceptable in principle and can be viewed as an enhancement of the existing cemetery as it would provide a community facility.”
A planning statement by the applicants Northamptonshire SANDS, a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, said the new garden would provide “a valuable service for grieving families”.
“Many parents do not have graves where they can visit,” the statement added. “This is sometimes due to the fact they were cremated or that they have moved away from the are where their babies are buried. Some were never informed as to where their children were buried.”