Six month extension granted for cemetery search

PUBLISHED: 12:37 15 December 2011

Royston cemetery 1

Royston cemetery 1

Archant

THE fight to keep burials in Royston has been given a reprieve with the town council granted six months to build a business case for a new site.

North Herts District Council cabinet rubber-stamped the request this week, but full body burials may still be moved 12 miles to Letchworth’s Wilbury Hills cemetery if a solution can not be found.

Only the interment of ashes and services at plots with a prior family arrangement would be allowed at Melbourn Road in this situation.

However, if the town council can not build a viable business case the matter will be referred to the Royston area committee as consultants, who will decide to either use the current site for 10 years until it fills, or move services to the designated site.

But ultimately the decision will be delegated to the strategic director of customer services who will make the move after consultation with Lynda Needham, Leader of NHDC.

Cllr Robert Smith, leader of the town council and member of the cemetery search team, said: “In a nutshell it’s good news they have granted us that extra time, and it’s six months to resolve it and make it work.”

It was revealed by The Crow last week that Royston Town Council had pinpointed a possible location and a £2,500 site survey had been commissioned.

NHDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, Cllr Peter Burt, said: “While the situation regarding the shortage of burial space affects Hitchin, Baldock and Royston in similar ways, the proposed solutions have been very different in each location.

“That is why Cabinet has now agreed that each area committee should be consulted on the situation in their local area.

“Meanwhile, the decision to postpone the limitation on full burials in Royston for a further six months will allow for existing proposals for cemetery provision in the town to be fully developed.”

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