People overlooking the proposed site of a ‘green’ graveyard fear they will see bodies being buried without coffins.
Victor Spurrell, 70, is one of the many residents on London Road in Macclesfield whose homes overlook land given planning permission for a 26-acre natural burial ground in Adlington Hall estate.
The burial plots, which allow bodies to decompose in a more environmentally-friendly way, will be in the estate’s medieval deer park, which is also a luxury wedding venue owned by Camilla Legh.
Grandfather-of-four Mr Spurrell, who has lived on the road with wife Sylvia for 25 years, said: "It’s not a thing you want to see from your home.
"We want to know why, when there are 2,000 acres of land, they have chosen to use the ground opposite the only row of elevated houses. No amount of landscaping can resolve this.
"The entrance to the site on Mill Lane is near the busy junction by the Legh Arms and a horse-drawn hearse and mourners’ cars will hold up the traffic."
But Reverend Veronica Hydon, vicar at Bollington, supports the plan.
She said: "The sensitive way the ground will be laid out offers an opportunity for the people of Bollington and neighbouring parishes to lay loved ones to rest in surroundings conducive to working through the grief process."
Bodies will be prepared without chemical preservatives, disinfectants such as embalming fluids or standard coffins which may inhibit the body’s contact with the soil.
A biodegradable casket or shroud will be used instead.
There will be burials, ash internments and ash scatterings and plots would be marked by plaques of local stone or wood flat on the ground.
It is thought there will be an average of one burial a day.
The development involves alterations to the existing access from Mill Lane and 32 parking spaces.
The nearest natural burial site is in Mobberley and others in Cheshire are in Winsford and the Wirral.
The site is on the English Heritage register of historic parks and gardens.
Will Knight, of the Simply Group, who applied for permission for the burial site, says the site will remain as a wildflower meadow and parkland.
He said: "Natural burial is not everyone’s cup of tea, but the number of calls we’ve had shows the demand is growing.
"We’ll meet legislative requirements and take our lead from other burial grounds.
"Until the planting matures, it will be possible to see graves but the number of interments is limited and the site will appear to be a wildflower meadow. We would not have been able to get permission for land to the rear of Adlington Hall and will comply with strict highways stipulations at the new entrance."