No more room for burials in Charlton Kings
THERE are just five burial spaces left in Charlton Kings.
Two years ago proposals were put forward to create an extra 50 graves to meet demand for the next 10 years.
But in the end, only 26 spaces were created because the land was only wide enough for a single row of graves rather than double.
Now demand has been so high, that only five spaces remain.
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Cheltenham Borough Council, the burial authority, hopes to squeeze in extra plots this summer by removing a path in the cemetery.
Rob Hainsworth, bereavement services manager, said: "The burial area created two years ago has five plots left from the 26 that were created.
"Death rates can vary greatly from year to year, so it is impossible to predict how long the supply of available of plots will last.
"However, it is anticipated that the remaining graves will be used at some point this year. It is important that we make provision within the existing cemetery to ensure there are enough plots available for residents to be buried in their own parish."
As space runs out in the Horsefair Street cemetery, questions have been raised about how the council can continue to provide spaces for coffin burials in the future.
The cemetery was built in 1909 and was initially expanded in the 1930s. Five years ago Charlton Kings parish council gave allotment land to the borough to use to extend the burial area.
The Environment Agency has raised concerns about using the land for deep burials because of the water table.
Currently the new land can only be used for ash internments. Clive Hodges, deputy chair of the parish council, said he hoped the situation would be resolved quickly.
He said: "Clearly we would like to ensure that there is adequate provision so that people can be buried in the way that they would like.
"The difficulty is what they term deep burials, burying with coffins, as opposed to the burying of an urn.
"As a parish council we would like people to be able to bury their loved ones in the way that they wish.
"We would support any sensible proposal to try and allow that to happen."