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Town cemeteries are running out of space

Southam Road Cemetery. Picture taken from the Banbury Guardian archive. Submitted by Susan Barnes

Southam Road Cemetery. Picture taken from the Banbury Guardian archive. Submitted by Susan Barnes

Banbury Town Council is seeking to obtain another burial site with Banbury’s two cemeteries due to run out of space in the next ten years.

The council currently manages two burial grounds in the town, the older Southam Road Cemetery and Hardwick Hill Cemetery, which is also located on Southam Road but closer to Little Bourton.

In The Cherwell Submission Local Plan 2006-2031 it was recognised that additional burial provision would be required to meet the needs of the town.

It was anticipated that, based upon current burial rates, Hardwick Hill cemetery had no more than ten years’ capacity remaining.

Councillor Colin Clarke, chairman of the general services committee, said: “Southam Road, which is the largest one, is full as far as new burials are concerned; however there may be space within existing family graves and there is still space available for cremations.

“There is no panic at all, we’re just being prudent as a council to look for other pieces of land.”

At a council meeting last month it was resolved that the New Homes Bonus of £77,995 should be allocated to the purchase of land for a new cemetery in the town.

The town council is now seeking to obtain an agreement in principle from Cherwell 
District Council for the use of compulsory purchase order powers to acquire land for an extension of the Hardwick Hill Cemetery.

It is also looking to open negotiations with other landowners in the area to see if they are willing to make land available on reasonable terms.

Mr Clarke said it may take up to four or five years until anything is completed. “Once it’s done it’s there forever so we need to make sure to get it right,” he said.

 

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