MEMBERS of a family who have farmed the same land for a number of generations have decided they would like to be buried in one of their fields when the time comes.

The Sparks family want to convert a cultivated arable field into a private burial ground.

They have applied for change of use planning permission for the plot on land west of Brimstone Lane, Wellington.

A spokesman for Greenslade Taylor Hunt, who have lodged the application with Somerset West and Taunton Council, said: "The proposal is to establish a private burial ground...for the private use of members of the Sparks family.

"The ground will be used for a very small number of burials spaced over many years.

"There is no intention of extending upon the area of land now applied for, and no intention to expand the use beyond members of the immediate family.

"The site for the burial ground has been carefully selected as it is in an accessible yet peaceful and private location, within the land farmed by the Sparks family for generations, with an outlook to the main farmstead at Perry Elm Farm to the north."

The burial ground would consist of a 16-metre diameter circular enclosure bordered by a 1.2-metre high fence.

A new hedgerow of eight native trees will be planted with a gap left to overlook the farm.

The GTH spokesman added: "The site is well screened from public views with no public viewpoints from which the burial ground would be clearly discernible.

"The site will not be visible either from Brimstone Lane to the east, from the A38 to the north, or from the un-named highway to the south. There are no public footpaths in the immediate locality."

The nearest homes are around 350 metres away.

The spokesman said: "The selected location is unobtrusive, accessible, and has a deep connection to the family farm.

"The majority of the works proposed do not require planning permission and hence the proposal should be regarded as being for change of use, and for the erection of monuments within the burial ground."