Graves could be reused when Redditch's burial space runs out in less than six years (From Redditch Advertiser)
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Graves could be reused when Redditch's burial space runs out in less than six years
2:50pm Monday 30th September 2013 in News
GRAVES more than 75 years old could be reused by Redditch Council within five to six years if additional burial land cannot be found.
Redditch Council says that if the current burial rate continues as it is now, capacity will be reached within about five to six years.
A national survey carried out recently revealed that almost half of England’s cemeteries could run out of space within the next 20 years.
Cemetery experts have warned of a burial “crisis”, which has led some cemetery managers to ask for a change in the law, which would allow the reuse of any graves more than 75 years old.
A 2007 law already permits this practise is London, but it is not yet applicable in the rest of England.
A Redditch Council spokesman said that the capacity in the town will be reached in five or six years at the current rate of burial.
They added: “In Redditch we are already looking for extra land for burial rather than re-using but if in the future appropriate sites cannot be found this may be something we consider if the legislation came into play.”
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is responsible for burial law and it would be its job to introduce the legislation into England allowing for the reuse of graves older than 75 years. Remains would be lifted from these graves and then buried deeper in the same grave, leaving more space for an additional burial on top.
An MoJ spokesman said: "Any changes in the way in which burial space might be used need to be considered carefully and sensitively.
"We keep this area under constant review and no decisions have yet been taken.”
Redditch Council has three cemeteries located at Bordesley Lane, Plymouth Road in Southcrest, and Edgioake Lane in Astwood Bank. There is an additional church yard in Feckenham which was closed to new burials several years ago after it reached capacity.
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