Dereham cemetries picked
Two potential sites for new cemeteries in Dereham have been picked by town bosses for 'exploration' but they are to be kept secret from the public. The town council is hunting for new sites in the town for cemeteries as grave space in the current site is running out.
TWO potential sites for new cemeteries in Dereham have been picked by town bosses for "exploration" but they are to be kept secret from the public.
The town council is hunting for new sites in the town for cemeteries as grave space in the current site is running out.
From a shortlist of four sites already found by contract firm Cemetery Services Limited the council has picked two, which now have to undergo lengthy testing for their suitability, the town council was told last Tuesday.
Boreholes are to be drilled at the sites so the firm can test the water levels over a period of a year.
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If it proves too dry to test the water the tests would have to go on another year, said Robert Hambidge, chairman of the social and welfare committee, in charge of cemeteries.
The two sites were only referred to as numbers 22 and 18.
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Mr Hambidge said that creating the first phase of a new cemetery, buying three acres and developing one of those, would cost about £250,000 but that this cash would be made back in about four or five years in grave fees.
This would have about 1,600 graves and would last about 100 years. Subsequent acres, which would be created at 30-year intervals, would cost about £50,000 each to develop.
When the council started its hunt for new cemetery space it was on the understanding it only had about five years' worth of grave space left.
Procuring a new cemetery -including thorough tests to meet Environment Agency rules - could take three to four years so there was a concern a new cemetery would not be provided in time.
Now the council says in fact it has six to eight years' worth of spaces.
Of the two shortlisted sites not picked one had already been allocated for another use but this was not discussed at the meeting.
The council does not have a statutory duty to provide cemeteries but the council agreed it was something that it should provide.