Cemetery expansion plan may take over allotments

PUBLISHED: 14:07 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:20 04 May 2010

ELY S High Barns allotments could become part of the city cemetery under a long-term expansion plan in the area. The land, owned by the Church Commissioners, is rented by Ely City Council and leased, in turn, to allotment holders. But the council has told

ELY'S High Barns allotments could become part of the city cemetery under a long-term expansion plan in the area.

The land, owned by the Church Commissioners, is rented by Ely City Council and leased, in turn, to allotment holders.

But the council has told the High Barns Allotment Association that it will probably need to take back the land in 10 years time when it expects to run out of space for burials at

the cemetery.

It is hoped that the council will be able to negotiate to buy the land from the Church Commissioners and find an alternative site for the allotments.

City council cemetery committee chairman, Councillor John Yates, dispelled fears that it would need to "grave stack" - opening ancient burial plots to add another coffin on top of one already buried there - to cope with a land shortage.

The idea was outlined in an article in the Local Council Review magazine and flagged up to councillors for information on a recent meeting agenda.

But Cllr Yates was adamant there were no plans to introduce the idea in Ely Cemetery.

"We don't have a crisis at the cemetery," he said. "It is estimated there is sufficient space within the cemetery for burials for a further 10 years and the council has plans for an extension in the future.

"We have been in discussions with the Church Commissioners and the High Barns Allotment Association and they are aware that we will have to relocate the allotments as part of the overall Master Plan.

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