ELLESMERE’S cemetery could run out of burial space in just over a decade and a lack of alternative space means residents may be buried outside the town in future, it has been revealed.
Members of the town’s burial committee have expressed concern that Swan Hill Cemetery could run out of space for new burials in 12 years and that no alternative burial location has yet been found.
John Frost, chairman of Ellesmere Town Council’s burial committee, said: “In terms of burials we think we have got 12 years left in the cemetery.
“We can’t find land anywhere around and we are very concerned there will be a time when people in Ellesmere won’t be buried in Ellesmere.
“If someone gave us two acres, we can’t just start digging there. You need planning permission for a cemetery. There are agency checks and people are in charge of things like water contamination.
“The problem is nobody is prepared to sell us land. They would have to sell at the going price which is around £12,000 an acre for agricultural land.
“In total it would cost around a quarter of a million to turn it into a cemetery.”
Swan Hill Cemetery opened in 1865 at a time when poorer families were buried without a stone, leaving committee members with the task of finding which plots have been used with ledgers and maps.
“Cemeteries are quite complicated. Swan Hill Cemetery opened in 1865 and they were bad times back then. A lot of poor people died and would be buried with no stone,” said Cllr Frost.
But in recent years 75 per cent of people nationwide are choosing cremation over burial, prolonging the use of cemeteries across the UK.
In Swan Hill Cemetery the average cost of a burial plot is £395.