Burial space in Flintshire running out, councillors are warned

Hawarden cemetery chapel Image copyright John H Darch
Image caption Negotiations are under way with the owners of potential burial sites in Hawarden and Hope

Two cemeteries need extending at a cost of £825,000 to meet growing demand for burial space in Flintshire in the next 20 years, councillors have been told.

Hawarden's Number Two Cemetery and Bryn y Grog, in Hope, have been named as the highest priorities, with Hope having just seven spaces left.

Officers said Buckley Cemetery would need a new site, but there was no room to expand.

Councillors are being told that burial fees should cover the expansion costs.

Steve Jones, the officer responsible for cemeteries in Flintshire, said in a report: "Without action being taken to address these shortages, local residents will no longer be able to be buried in their local cemetery with other family members and loved ones.

"Of particular concern is the cemetery at Hope, with only one year [capacity], and Hawarden with four years capacity."

Mr Jones said suitable land had been found next to the two cemeteries, with negotiations under way to buy the sites.

Hawarden, seen as Flintshire's main cemetery handling a third of the county's burials, is estimated to cost £600,000 to expand with Hope estimated at £225,000.

Further investigations are set to be carried out to identify alternative locations in Buckley, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Mr Jones said the expansions would require "significant investment from capital funds".

But he said: "The investment would secure future income from burial fees, which would be lost should extensions not be provided.

"The proposed extension at Hope Cemetery would generate an anticipated income of approximately £375,000 over a 25-year scheme period.

"The balance between expected income and the cost of developing the sites will be sufficient to cover the operational costs for maintenance and supporting the burial work."

A scrutiny committee will consider the proposals at a meeting next week.

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