Row over future of historic Spilsby feature

A ROW has erupted over the proposed demolition of a cemetery wall, described by some as ‘incredibly important’ and considered a mere ‘eyesore’ by others.

Spilsby Town Council discussed the proposal during a meeting at the Franklin Hall on Thursday following its condemnation on health and safety grounds.

Councillors considered whether to repair the Victorian wall at an estimated cost of £16,000 or demolish it and replace it with something else.

Mayor of Spilsby Coun David Pleming said: “We need to decide what people would prefer from us; to make it safe at quite some cost or to have it removed, and then once we’ve had it removed to see what we could have in its place.”

The favoured option among the majority of those present was demolition on the basis of cost and aesthetics.

A free offer to remove the wall and its foundations had been made to the council on the grounds that the value of the bricks would be adequate reward.

Suggestions to replace it with either a beech or blackthorn hedge were also seen as preferable options to the current situation.

Coun Phil Odling said: “We should put a beech hedge in, I think it would be very pretty and an asset to the cemetery rather than a detriment.”

Conversely he described the wall in its present state as a ‘bugger’s muddle’.

Estimated costs of replacing the 60 yard stretch of wall came to approximately £140.

The option also presented further opportunities to replace a 55 yard stretch of existing hedging currently adjoining it.

Despite the substantial cost savings and the unfavourable impression held by most councillors of the state of the wall, its historic value caused Coun Julia Pears to object to its destruction.

“The advice from the professional was that the wall was incredibly important,” she said.

“I feel passionately about the conservation of Spilsby and therefore feel strongly about this wall.

“This area is known as an historically precious area.”

Despite Coun Pears’ objections councillors voted in favour of demolition and replacement with a hedge providing no objections were received from the district council within 14 days.

l Do you think the cemetery wall should be preserved? Email andrew.hirst@jpress.co.uk.