District council defends decision to keep lych gate closed

By Tristan Harris 18/04 Updated: 26/04 13:10

Buy photos » Coun Anthony Blagg and Coun Rita Dent at the old gates (left) and the new-look gates (right). s

THE DISTRICT council has defended its decision not to open the newly restored lych gate at Bromsgrove Cemetery amidst road safety concerns.

The authority said that, while it was proud to have returned the historic gate to its former glory, it was not practical for it to be used on a daily basis.

The gate was restored after complaints from residents back in the autumn to St John’s district councillor Rita Dent and county councillor Anthony Blagg.

But campaigner Fred Stanley, who was one of those calling for the restoration, said, although he was grateful the lych gate had been repaired, he was disappointed it was not used as an entrance and an exit.

"I still feel this gate should be used for its intended purpose - as a gateway to the cemetery for residents on their final journey.

"I praise the councillors for their good work, but I would also like them to consider opening the gate again."

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said: "As requested by members of the public and local councillors, the lych gate has been restored to the high standards required for important features in conservation areas.

"Those familiar with the area will know that for many years, Bromsgrove Cemetery has been accessible by its three other gates, while the lych gate, which opens out at the bottom of a slope directly onto the corner of two roads, has remained locked to improve road safety and prevent accidents.

"We’re proud to restore this beautiful landmark but it is not suited to practical everyday use."

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