SCALED-DOWN plans to transform a disused golf club in Henley into a country park and natural burial ground have been resubmitted for the third time.
Cemetery Development Services (CDS) initially applied for permission to build a woodland burial ground on a site at Liveridge Hill towards the end of last year.
They opted to withdraw the scheme in January and went back to the drawing board before returning with new plans to create a county park in April.
Under these plans, the site – which would be known as Arden Country Park and Burial Ground – would become an open space offering wildlife trails, a children’s play area and an educational building for schools and local groups to use.
The natural burial ground would then form part of the overall scheme.
The revised plans were branded ‘Disneyland for the dead’ by campaigner David Hadley following a public consultation earlier this year.
Like many other residents, he feared the proposals could spell disaster for the town – arguing the natural burial site was not needed, was an inappropriate use of greenbelt land and would be unsustainable in the long term.
But having undergone further discussion with Stratford District Council’s planning department, CDS have resubmitted its plans once more.
A parcel of land from part of the old golf course has been taken out of the original scheme and the developer is looking to reduce the height of the educational building and the amount of the hard surface landscape.
The group has also worked with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust in a bid to enhance the wildlife contribution on site.
And managing director of CDS, Justin Smith, believes the plans are now finally ready.
He told The Observer: “The development will encourage people to visit the site for country walks and see local country crafts and skills.
“It would be disappointing if the town’s representatives stop this derelict landscape being improved for the betterment of wildlife just because they have a personal issue with natural burial.”
If the plans are given the go-ahead, Mr Smith says it will help improve biodiversity, encourage wildlife and create jobs.
Residents have until September 29 to make their thoughts known on the district council’s planning website.