Solihull cemetery set for expansion with borough burial sites stretched - The Solihull Observer

Solihull cemetery set for expansion with borough burial sites stretched

Solihull Editorial 31st May, 2019   0

A MAJOR Solihull cemetery is set to be expanded with borough burial sites running close to capacity.

A council report has warned that the Woodlands Crematorium will be full in five years with many other grave sites pushed for space.

The council’s Bereavement Services Strategy – approved this week – reveals an increasing demand for burial sites and cremations.

Its central proposal to manage demand involves purchasing additional land to expand the Woodlands site while updating the ageing cremator in the next two years.

The plans, once comprehensively drawn up, are to go before cabinet member for communities Alison Rolf for approval.

The report states: “Officers are working to utilise space in the best manner in all of our cemeteries and it may be possible to identify additional areas for use, however at Woodlands Cemetery there is a need to purchase additional land in order for us to continue to provide a full burial service in the north of the Borough.

“Woodlands opened in 2000 and the existing single cremator is now 18 years old.

“Although currently in fairly good condition it will be imperative that the service plans for its replacement and the possibility for the installation of an additional cremator as the number of cremations at this site continues to increase year on year.

“Our current cemetery sites have limited capacity. Woodlands cemetery currently has approximately 4-5 years maximum capacity and again this is only possible by utilising pathways and any spare land.”

A number of nearby sites have been earmarked to potentially enable the expansion of Woodlands.

The annual number of cremations undertaken at Woodlands continues to increase year on year, with 896 cremations being carried out during 2018/19, the report shows.

The population of Solihull is around 214,000, and is estimated to increase to approximately 226,800 by 2029.

During this period it is also accepted that the age of the population will increase rapidly.

The gross total income the council generated in 2018/2019 from all burials undertaken was about £1million.

It also raised £2million from all cremations and £170,000 from memorial services.

There were 485 full burials undertaken in 2018/19 – with approximately 48 per cent relating to burials of non-residents.

The income received from undertaking non-resident burials is an important source of financing for burial service provision.

The significant level of income generation enables the service to provide high quality provision and maintenance of the borough’s burial sites.


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