Couple looking for burial site get permission for 500-plot development

L-R Robert Lowrie, Marion Lowrie and Sharron Lowrie of Thatched Cottage restaurant, Swineshead, pictured at their nature reserve, which they are turning into a natural burial ground.
L-R Robert Lowrie, Marion Lowrie and Sharron Lowrie of Thatched Cottage restaurant, Swineshead, pictured at their nature reserve, which they are turning into a natural burial ground.

A couple’s desire to be buried in a field behind their home led them to get permission for a 500-plot natural burial site in the village nature reserve.

Bob and Marion Lowrie came up with the idea to convert an eight-acre site in Sutterton following a discussion about their final resting places.

After negotiating with planners, the pair have now been given the go-ahead to develop the land and cater for people who want an environmentally-friendly funeral.

Mr Lowrie, who runs the Thatched Cottage Restaurant on Pools Lane, said the idea was planted when an insurance policy, which his wife owned, matured and she decided she would use the money to pay for her funeral. When the couple’s daughter suggested she could be buried in the field, Mr Lowrie looked into it.

He told The Standard: “We already had the trees. It is a natural burial area and it brings a new lease of life to the Thatched Cottage. There is a need for it in the area. It offers people in Boston a choice of natural burial.”

Sutterton Parish Council and a number of local residents objected to the plans, saying it was an inappropriate location for the development.

Plans for the development went before Boston Borough Council last Tuesday, and despite concerns and a tight vote, the final decision to approve the application was made by planning board chairman Coun Mary Wright, who was left with the casting vote.

At the meeting, Coun Alan Lee said: “I feel sorry for the people who look at the burial site. It’s not a thing you would choose to look at.”

But fellow committee-member Coun Paul Gleeson said: “Death is part of the tapestry of life, and people want to be buried in this way. A funeral is a very transient event and after that there is just a dead body in the ground decaying away. I think people are scared about something that isn’t that scary.”