THE cost of a controversial new cemetery in Hazlemere has gone up once again – with councillors now planning to plough nearly £2 million into building it.

A new cemetery has been talked about for years as High Wycombe’s graveyard is almost at capacity – and a field off of Penn Road, which is in the AONB, was chosen by Wycombe District Council as the new location, even though it is out of the town’s boundary.

Plans were unanimously given the green light in September - despite concerns from nearby residents who slammed it as a “vanity project” and raised fears that dozens of cars would use nearby residential road Queensway to park in for burials.

In January last year the cost of the project spiralled from £1.2 million to £1.68 million, with the additional £475,000 coming from the High Wycombe Town Committee reserves.

But now, the cost has gone up again with councillors on the committee this week giving the go-ahead to add an extra £253,201 – bringing the total up to £1.9 million.

A 15 per cent increase on the initial costs was put in place when a contractor was appointed to carry out the building work – and inflation since 2017 has also been blamed.

Councillors have also had to agree that £50,000 will be spent every year on maintaining the cemetery once it is fully up and running.

Now that the cost increase has been agreed, Wycombe District Council will now push forward with entering a build contract with the successful bidder.

The contract will be signed off by the acting chief executive - who will also approve the final designs of the new burial ground.

A new cemetery for the town has been in the pipeline for years, as parts of the Hampden Road site are running out of space and were predicted to have already been filled up by now, prompting Wycombe District Council to look for a new site in 2014.

When it is finished, the four-hectare field will feature a small office building, maintenance storage area, a columbaria for ashes, reflective pools, a snowdrop garden for babies and children and a woodland walk.

Vehicles will enter and exit from Penn Road, while hearses will exit through a locked gate on Queensway.

Nearby residents have slammed the project, fearing more parking issues and traffic on quiet road Queensway.