A plan to extend the graveyard at Malew parish church has provoked objections from Cheeseden Investments Ltd owned by billionaire property magnate John Whittaker.

The church’s preferred option is for the extension to go on a field to the south of the church.

Law firm Appleby asked for interested party status to be given to their client Cheeseden as they are the ’beneficial owner of the land subject to the application, as they are contracted to buy the freehold interest of the land subject to the proposal’. Also Billown Mansion, owned by Mr Whittaker, is nearby.

Appleby wrote: ’The development of a burial-ground ... in the proposed location would result in a detrimental impact on the character of the area which is primarily agricultural which is at high scenic value and in an area of open countryside.

’A development of the scale proposed in this location would be very conspicuous and would appear incongruous in this part of the countryside. The loss of the prime agricultural land, especially the scale proposed, would be regretful and would have a negative impact on the farming operations of Billown Farm, which our client is contracted to purchase in November 2019.’

They added alternative options two (to the north ofthe church) and three (to the east and other side of Malew Road) ’appear to have been dismissed with little or no explanation’

They believe option three would be a more appropriate and suitable location.

Malew Commissioners support the plan.