Town council to consider plan to build mausoleum after appeals from community

PUBLISHED: 11:38 09 March 2017 | UPDATED: 11:38 09 March 2017

St Ives Town Hall.

St Ives Town Hall.

Archant

Plans to build a mausoleum in St Ives are being explored following an “incredibly positive” meeting with members of the community.

Held on February 27, Councillor Ryan Fuller welcomed Italian residents to a meeting to discuss the possible venture, which could see a modular mausoleum constructed on council land.

“Last year I was approached by members of the community who requested that St Ives Town Council provide family mausoleums in addition to the existing cemetery provision in the town,”

Cllr Fuller told The Hunts Post.

“The community had previously approached the council with the same request but the issue had not been progressed.

Having listened to the aspirations of these residents I agreed to champion their cause with the town council.”

Popular within Italian communities, mausoleums are free-standing buildings which house groups of tombs.

Although in the early stages, the town council anticipates that the cost of the project could be in the region of £300,000 for 50 spaces, but that a modular design would be cheaper.

With the price in mind, it’s also been estimated that plots could cost £6,000 each for residents based on a 50-year term.

This could be more though, if the council decides to charge extra for non-residents to take a space.

Allan Witherick, town clerk, said: “Although it’s estimated that the current cemetery has potentially enough space for 100 years, we’re conscious that the water table limits our graves to a single burial depth. As such, with all the potential developments locally we’re already asking questions of what happens next.

“We’re grateful to the Italian community who’ve raised this issue as those present were open to the idea that the mausoleum, if built, could be a shared facility for St Ives as a whole; that makes it far easier for St Ives Town Council to consider.

“Our task now will be to find out how much either a full feasibility study would cost, or for the works to be done as a whole.

“Once we have the overall costs we will be able to go back to the community and hopefully offer the possibility to purchase plots in advance. This will then give the council the funds to complete the construction.”

Other councils in the UK have installed their own mausoleums, including Erith, in the London Borough of Bexley, which spent £250,000 building 48 tombs and an underground capacity, and Loughborough which put £400,000 towards 175 spaces.

Cllr Fuller added: “The meeting was incredibly positive and there was a firm commitment from the community to work with the council to deliver this scheme should the feasibility study indicate that it would be possible.”

The idea will now go back to St Ives Town Council’s amenities committee for further discussion.

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