Cemeteries are running out of space to bury the dead, local authorities have warned, prompting calls for an overhaul of archaic legislation to prevent deepening funeral poverty for families.
The disposal of human remains is governed by a complex set of legislation in England and Wales dating to the Victorian era, which prevents graves being reused.
Yet the issue is becoming more pressing not only because more local authorities are running out of space, but also because funeral costs are rapidly rising as a result.
“We can’t keep building new sites, there isn’t the space available,
Britain’s a pretty big place. There is, in fact, plenty of space. Buy a few fields off some farmer, change the planning permission, voila. Which is, of course, how the Victorians solved the very same problem. Declare an area a cemetery, build a road to it, stick up a chapel and you’re done. Or, in London, perhaps a train line:
For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.