Space for burials in Huntingdon could run out within four years

Priory Road, Cemetery, Huntingdon

Priory Road, Cemetery, Huntingdon - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon cemeteries could run out of space within the next four years, according to a town council official.

Following a review of burial spaces in the town, which took place earlier this year, Huntingdon Town Council has estimated that it will not be able to accommodate any more burials by 2020 if a new site is not found.

Town clerk, Philip Peacock told The Hunts Post: “It is an issue we just have not got the space – it is something that needs to be addressed.”

Last year the council sold 50 burial plots and, so far this year, the authority says that the number of sites taken has already totalled more than the whole of 2015. Prior to the surge in plots being taken, the council believed that it had burial space to last between five and eight years.

“If we find a site it won’t be ready this year so this is why we are doing it now so we can be ready. We don’t want to get into a situation where we just close the gates and say ‘sorry we can’t accommodate’, which nobody wants,” Mr Peacock said.

A part of the problem, Mr Peacock says, is the increasing number of houses that are being built in the town and the surrounding areas, with not enough provision being given for cemeteries.

“At RAF Wyton there will be hundreds of houses, a school and shops but there is no plan for a cemetery.”

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With Huntingdonshire District Council’s announcement earlier this month that 21,000 homes are needed in the area by 2036, more needs to be done according to Mr Peacock.

“It is one of those things that no one ever wants to talk about. Where are we going to put a new burial site as nobody wants that next door to them?”

To solve the problem the council is currently looking at sites to put a new cemetery but the town clerk insists that the situation is like “a jigsaw”.

The issue will be put to councillors tomorrow (Thursday) at a meeting of the town council to discuss the way forward.

Huntingdon isn’t alone in the crisis as other parts of the district, including St Neots, are also facing the issue.