Council to put stop to bulk buying of graves

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Latest breaking news from the Newmarket Journal, newmarketjournal.co.uk, @nktjournall on Twitter
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A council has moved to stop the bulk buying of graves in its cemetery which could leave it with a shortage of plots.

Newmarket town councillors were warned on Monday that they must act to stop people from outside the town purchasing multiple plots or the town cemetery would run out of space.

Town clerk Isabelle Barrett told councillors that enquiries about the purchase of multiple graves were coming from outside the town . “Our policy is currently three plots per family, but it is sometimes difficult to judge who is family and who is not,” she said.

Councillors agreed to scrap the current policy and allow the purchase of a plot when death occurred with the option of buying one other plot immediately next to it.

The Journal has learned that families involved in the bulk buying were from the travelling fraternity.

Twenty five pre-dug plots have recently been bought by one family alone costing more than £5,700. and an enquiry has been made to buy more.

Mrs Barrett said 30 pre-dug plots would normally last between two to three months and if the council did not change its policy there would be no grave space left.

Neighbouring councils including Cambridge City and Brandon have already changed their rules to protect their space and other local authorities faced with the same bulk-buy prospects , including Mildenhall, which has just 100 plots left are likely to do the same.

“This is a real problem,” said Mrs Barrett “but a very sensitive one. We have to think of local residents and the fact that the space we have for burials is fast disappearing.”