Council extends Belper graveyard

Loved ones will be able to be buried side by side in a cemetery to open on a hillside above Belper.

They will buried six foot deep because gravediggers soon hit rock - and interments are impossible on top of each other.

Details were given in a report to Amber Valley councillors who approved the four-acre extension to the existing graveyard off Matlock Road.

The scheme was unanimously backed by thecouncil’s planning board after chairman Cllr Jim Anderson said it had been earmarked for graves “for donkeys’ years.”

The report says the site is currently grazing land and is well landscaped.

The council already owns the site and allocated £250,000 three years ago for drainage, landscaping and improvements to an access road. This work has been completed.

The report said: “The new site is potentially ready for burials once the existing site becomes full, which is expected in the next two years.Burials will be laid out as a formal burial ground in keeping with the existing cemetery. Burials will be in rows.It is the tradition for the burials in Belper to be side by side at six foot depth as underlying bedrock is close to the surface.”

The Environment Agency said there was a risk of water pollution. It said graves should be above the water table and suggested tests should be carried out. “Pollution from cemeteries can impact on water supplies and there may be non-mains domestic supplies in the area. The proximity of any such supplies should be investigated to ensure no detriment to the quality of non-mains domestic water,” the agency added.