Councillors considered land at Dog Kennel Down for a Cemetery

The first meeting of the newly elected Town Council's New Cemetery Working Group takes place next Tuesday on 28 May 2019 at 6pm

The previous meeting on 23 April 2019 shows that the Triangle of land Dog Kennel Down and the Busway was considered.  Councillors were advised by consultants that  “all of the sites are situated on the same geological sequence and therefore carries similar risks with regards to groundwater contamination from cemeteries. If a sufficient thickness of head soils was encountered on site, the risk may be reduced."

Land at Dog Kennel Down towards Blackburn Road

Google Maps - current cemetery on the right, Dog Kennel Down on the left.

In 2014 a report contained an investigation and flux model which highlighted that the risk of contamination into the underlying groundwater table could be mitigated, but that the Environment Agency(EA) may require the installation of groundwater monitoring wells. EA regulations now regulate for stricter control to protect groundwater, especially to protect drinking water, particularly in areas where Chalk bedrock is encountered. If there were more than 30 burials a year at the site a risk assessment would be required to be allowed to operate.

Other difficulties faced by this site would be the access for funeral vehicles, parking, services provision, especially water, as well as confirmation of land ownership and any covenants that might be attached. In summary, the site was unlikely to be suitable.

A second site considered was land at Grendall Lane. This is at 'Angels', the end of the road that the Tidy Tip is on. The land is within the ownership of Central Bedfordshire Council. It was thought that CBC might want to develop this land for development, and was not therefore available for a cemetery.

Councillors were unhappy that resources were being wasted on looking for a suitable site when it was unknown how much land was required. Cllr Kennedy proposed and was supported by the others, to move a motion that called for no more speculative land parcels be suggested until the establishment of the likely size and type of facility required, using data of mortality rates for the town projected for the next 50 years.

images © Lucas Varela