An unused area of graveyard could be turned into a parking area after the Church of England admitted it could no longer afford to maintain the overgrown churchyard.

Martin McCann, who lives in part of the old St Mark’s Church, in Low Moor, which has been converted to a house, has applied for permission to turn a section of the churchyard into a car park. Although the Grade II listed church was sold years ago, its churchyard is still in use and owned by the parish of South Bradford. However, its upkeep is proving too costly for the parish, according to the Revered Chris Shedd.

Just mowing the grass round the graves once a year can cost up to £1,000, she said.

The area of the churchyard Mr McCann wants to use for five parking spaces and a turning area has no graves in it. He said it was far enough away from the church to have no visual impact on the historic building.

The Rev Shedd said she sympathised with Mr McCann and the church had agreed to let him have the space – but the decision rests with planners.

“We’ve come to a neighbourly deal which we think is a good one,” she said.

“In return for the bit of space Mr McCann has said he will help with grass which means we can use the money we’ll save on other things.”

The area round the yard is also a conservation area which means for the sake of flora and fauna is has to be allowed to grow high for part of the year.

“I can sympathise with Mr McCann. When it gets too overgrown it can look a bit of a jungle, it can’t be nice for him and it does make the building look a bit derelict. With this plan, he’s helping us out too. You could say he’s being a Good Samaritan,” said the Rev Shedd.

  • Read the full story in Monday’s T&A