Green light for re-using old graves

Councils will be allowed to exhume bodies and re-use graves because of a shortage of cemetery space, ministers have said.

Officials will normally be able to re-use burial plots which are more than 100 years old after seeking permission from surviving relatives.

But there could be a case for exhuming corpses after just 75 years “where available space is particularly short”, said the Ministry of Justice. And families who object to a relative’s grave being re-used will be allowed to defer the exhumation for “at least” a generation, justice minister Harriet Harman said.

The preferred way of re-using graves would be a “double decker”-style approach which involves lifting existing remains, deepening the grave and laying a new coffin on top.

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One Response to Green light for re-using old graves

  1. blur says:

    I just don’t think that this is that big a deal. It has been standard practice in many European countries for a long time. Many small towns have small cemeteries in which the bodies are buried vertically. After a prescribed number of years, bones are exhumed and stored (usually in a church) and the gravesite is re-used.

    It seems ‘goofy’ to us in the USA because we have so much unused land.

    just an observation

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