Approval has been given for a natural burial site for up to 50 people a year between Bridport and Dorchester.

The four-hectare site, north of the old Roman road between Winterbourne Abbas and Compton Valence, was first proposed almost a year ago, but was later withdrawn and then resubmitted.

The changes include some minor alterations to the original plan – including the inclusion of a composter toilet on the site.

The application had been submitted in the name of Compton Valence Farms.

Two public letters of support supported the idea and Frampton parish council said it would support the application if a slate tiled roof was used, rather than metal, as proposed.

Agents for the farming group say the ‘green’ burial site use is compatible with an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and will provided a useful income to support local farming.

The site will have an oak-framed building, a 42-space car parking area, and little else.

Most of the grass at the site would be managed by using sheep. No more than 50 burials are proposed in any year.

The application says that apart from days when there is a funeral there are only likely to be one of two vehicles on the site. It expects visitors to come from a 13-mile radius which will include Bridport, Dorchester and Weymouth.

The agents say that there will be work for two part-time staff and the site will be available for funerals 10am to 4pm during the week and 10am to 2pm on Saturdays.

In recommending approval a planning officer report concluded: “The site would have landscaping and the harm to the landscape is considered neutral as the car parking and shelter would have a modest impact. Overall it is considered that the negative aspect, namely that of being outside of the defined development boundary and additional car journeys are not so significant to refuse this proposal where there is a known need that town and village cemeteries and crematoriums are stretched.”

Illustration – The planned shelter, meeting room and toilet block. Courtesy of Leedam Natural Heritage