New Royston cemetery site pinpointed

THE search for a new council cemetery in the Royston area has found a possible site, but burials could still be moved 12 miles if a time limit is not extended.

Town councillors have found a possible new site, but they will ask North Hertfordshire District Council’s cabinet for more time – which has been recommended by officers – as the window will close in 24 days.

The hunt for a new site was launched by town councillors after it was revealed the existing Melbourn Road cemetery had enough room for only 10 years more body burials.

The district council has plans to move services to Wilbury Hills Cemetery, Letchworth, except for the interment of ashes, or where a prior family plot has been arranged, from January 1.

Despite the time constraints, councillors are remaining tight-lipped about the location of the possible new cemetery.

Cllr Robert Smith, leader of the town council and member of the cemetery search team, said: “I can’t release any further information.

“It remains the same that we are going through the particular process of acquiring land for cemetery use in Royston.

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“We can’t really say anything yet.

“The officers are recommending we get a further extension of six months, in which time we will make an official announcement.”

The working party is still investigating a site and has commissioned a survey to examine the site at a cost of �2,500.

Next Tuesday will see NHDC’s cabinet discuss the issue, and senior councillors will decide whether to grant the town council the time extension.

The cabinet report states: “This extension of time will enable Royston Town Council to further investigate and develop their proposal into a sustainable business plan that can be considered by Cabinet in May/June 2012.

“Failure to provide an acceptable business case would result in the proposed policy being referred to Royston Area Committee in June/July 2012 for implementation or deferral until the current cemetery provision reaches capacity when, with no alternative in place, burials will be diverted to Wilbury Hills.”

Despite the problems surrounding cemetery provision in the town, the mayor of Royston is looking on the positive side.

Cllr Robert Inwood said: “I hope that after this long time the town council can find a solution so the people of Royston can be buried in the town.”