"What is to prevent the sites from being built-on in the future?"
This is one of the most frequent questions we are asked. The quick answer is:-
- The land is subject to a 99 year lease that restricts the use of the land to natural burials
- Each new burial adds to the complexity and cost of any future development
- Legislative procedures would need to be followed for each proposed exhumation
- Exhumation costs are likely to prohibit development
- Planning authorities would resist development within the protected areas where the burial grounds exist
- Our burial grounds have a sustainable future as pasture
- Consecration does not offer long-term security as land can be de-consecrated
- No burial ground can offer a guarantee in perpetuity
There is no likelihood whatsoever that any other development will take place at the sites we have selected. The burial grounds are protected from future development in several ways: -The local planning authority have granted permission for the land to be used a a cemetery. Any other land use would require an application to the planning authority for development. Such an application would be very unlikely to receive consent.
The burial grounds usually lie within Green Belts, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, or have Historic Monuments that are protected by law.
We are rarely offered land that has any other development potential - those avenues have usually been investigated and rejected before we are given the opportunity to appraise the land for natural burial.
We have long leasehold interests in the land, which means that no other development can take place on the land during the term of those leases.
The grounds typically form important landscape features, which the landowners and local authorities wish to protect. for example, Hundy Mundy is part of the historic Mellerstain Estate. It is located on a ridge in the middle horizon when viewed from Mellerstain House. The Tower is precisely on the axis of symmetry for the house, terraces, lawns, avenues and lake - it has been leased as a woodland burial ground specifically to preserve the designed landscape.
Each and every burial within the burial ground secures the land for the future. The process of applying for the exhumation of each individual grave is complex and involves the next of kin, the burial ground operator and the Secretary of State (Sheriff in Scotland).
On top of this, the practical cost of exhumation of individual graves is considerable. The difficulty of this would prompt any prospective developer to choose any other nearby piece of land instead - the economics would also be prohibitive.