Dear Residents of Ryhall and Belmesthorpe
Cemetery Extension behind the new Cemetery, Belmesthorpe Lane, Ryhall
The Parish Council is considering the possibility of an extension to the rear of the current cemetery located on the lane to Belmesthorpe. The present cemetery was created in the mid-1980’s and was designed to accommodate 224 burial plots. Since then some of the space has been re-designated for cremated remains which has reduced the number of plots.
A parcel of land was purchased by the Parish in October 2012 as a contingency anticipating the present cemetery would eventually become full. This eventuality is now upon approaching as there are only a few remaining burial spaces in the cemetery and we will no longer be granting the pre-purchase of Exclusive Rights of Burial. These remaining spaces are now reserved for any burial requirements in the near future. On average there are currently between 3-5 burials per year so we might well find the cemetery is full in 3-4 years.There is still space for cremated remains within the designated area of the existing cemetery. This means full burials might no longer be possible after Spring 2025.
Therefore, the Parish Council is now commencing a planning exercise which will appraise the implications and cost associated with implementing a cemetery extension. Before embarking on such an extension, we wish to consult with residents as to their future requirements for burial facilities in the village.
Please note that although being classed as a “burial authority”, Parish Councils are not required by law to provide burial grounds. Under the Local Authorities’ Cemeteries Order 1977 (LACO 77), article 4 empowers burial authorities such as Parish Councils, to ‘enclose, layout and embellish a cemetery in such a manner as they think fit, and from time to time improve it, and keep in good order and repair’– this we are fulfilling in the cemetery and will continue to do so.
Please note that the cost of acquiring the land has already been incurred some years ago, however additional commissioning costs, yet to be fully determined, will include undertaking a further test dig [as one was last done in March 2011], fencing, planning and obtaining diocesan permissions, laying out the proposed plots and pathways, joining with current cemetery etc.
Once established the extended cemetery will incur modest annual maintenance costs such as grass cutting. However, each plot allocated with a right of burial attracts a payment which contributes to these maintenance charges. The estimated cost of commissioning the extension would be a one-off charge to the Parish’s annual operating costs.
Thereafter there would be an annual running cost chargeable to the Parish which is grass and hedge cutting, provision of bin and water, burial administration and rates but this would hopefully be offset by an expected annual burial fee income.
Assuming the cemetery extension can accommodate 224 plots it should, at current rates of occupancy, be capable of accommodating burials until at least 2070.
It is clear to the Parish Council that a decision is urgently needed as to whether to make arrangements for a cemetery expansion or to require residents to seek alternative burial arrangements elsewhere.
To assist the Parish Council, we will be circulating a questionnaire shortly and would urge resident to complete this. More information will follow in the next village news.