Full cemeteries in Croydon may have to re-use graves

Croydon is running out of burial space

Croydon is running out of burial space

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Croydon Council may have to reuse existing graves after plans to bury the town’s dead outside the borough were rejected.

Tandridge District Council rejected plans from the council to build extra graves at the Greenlawn Memorial Park in Warlingham.

Croydon is set to run out of room to bury its own dead this year and as a result hoped to add an extra 7,000 burial spaces in Warlingham which would have lasted 58 years.

Tandridge District Council rejected the application after concerns it would cause harm to the green belt land. There were more than 200 objections to the scheme.

Croydon Council is considering appealing the decision.It is also exploring the possibility of re-using graves in Croydon which would mean a change in policy.

Reusing graves means digging up remains which are more than 75 years old, burying them further into the ground, and burying new bodies on top. The council would require the family’s permission of the existing grave to do this.

It puts the council in a difficult position as last year Tony Brooks, the council’s director of public safety, said after an extensive search no other suitable sites could be found within Croydon.

He said in October there was an estimated 12 months left until the borough ran out of room.

Mr Brooks had hoped the council would have been on site this year with the new cemetery being available to Warlingham residents as well.

A Croydon Council spokesman said: "Croydon is disappointed with the decision.

The question of burial provision for both Croydon and Tandridge is a serious one, and we will be giving careful consideration as to what our next steps might be.

"We’ll continue the current practice of reclaiming graves and undertake further research into the number of graves that can be reclaimed.

"We will explore the possibility of reusing graves although this would require a new policy to be agreed."

Piers Mason, chief planning officer at Tandridge said: "We refused the application as the council considered there were insufficient very special reasons to grant permission for the use of this land as a cemetery, given that it would cause significant harm to the open and undeveloped character of the Green Belt."


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Comments (1)

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8:42pm Fri 14 Mar 14

motomoto says...

The solution to the problem is to stop building more houses and flats and reserve more land for cemetary space.......the croydon borough is becoming far too over developed and over development leads to overcrowding and overcrowding leads to anger and resentment.
Take a look at schools......hospita
ls......doctor's surgery's......even supermarkets.......e
verywhere in croydon is overcrowded.......we neither want nor need any more residential developments !
The solution to the problem is to stop building more houses and flats and reserve more land for cemetary space.......the croydon borough is becoming far too over developed and over development leads to overcrowding and overcrowding leads to anger and resentment. Take a look at schools......hospita ls......doctor's surgery's......even supermarkets.......e verywhere in croydon is overcrowded.......we neither want nor need any more residential developments ! motomoto
  • Score: 1

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