Cemetery Provision Houghton Regis

This page is a dump of texts from various documents in the public domain. The reader should always refer to the original documents available at http://www.houghtonregis.org.uk .

This document is not about fees and charges for cemetery in Houghton Regis.

Local authority information about meetings does not have to be available online, just that they have to be available, so any missing ones should be available by asking in person at their offices.  Documents ought to be available for inspection for six years (see what's allowed and not allowed on recording public body information).

Environment & Leisure Committee Minutes
2nd December 2013 at 7.30pm

Members of the public expressed their objections to the possible development of the Orchard Close recreation ground for a new town cemetery and the Town Clerk responded by giving a brief summary of the rationale behind the proposal, namely that the current cemetery had approximately 4 to 5 years left and it was a priority of the Town Council to provide a cemetery for the community.

General concerns were that it would result in the loss of a valuable piece of open space, which was used by numerous groups, such as the Scouts and Cubs, the Brethren and local residents, for a variety of activities.  It was the only piece of land in that area of the town which local children could use for informal activities.  Concerns were also expressed about the increase in traffic that a cemetery would bring to roads that were relatively narrow.  More personal objections were that people did not want to look out of their front windows onto a cemetery, or a wall if the intention was to build one to enclose the cemetery, and the potential effect it might have on house prices.  Some other pockets of land were suggested as alternative sites, but it was explained that these were either not in Houghton Regis or were potentially expensive development land.  


The Town Clerk summarised the report that Members had previously received.  The issue of finding land for a new cemetery was a problem that had to be faced sooner rather than later.  It was believed that it would take approximately 5 years to develop a new cemetery, which was about the remaining life left at the current site, so there was a time dilemma. The possibility of an allocation of land within the proposed urban development to the north of the town had been unsuccessful, as the water table was too close to the surface for a cemetery.  Other areas of land investigated had either been privately owned or had already been bought by developers, so were unavailable for consideration.

Members accepted the need for action and that preliminary studies needed to be done in order to inform us about what further work would need to be done.  It was pointed out that the proposed conversion of the land at Orchard Close would result in the Houghton Hall Ward being without any recreation land.  Bearing in mind the next item on the agenda, which was the consideration of putting allotments on the land at Windsor Drive, it was suggested that perhaps that land could be used for both purposes, or the proposed uses swapped.

Following a lengthy discussion it was eventually proposed that the recommendation should be amended to both sites being investigated for the development of a new cemetery.  This proposal was seconded and carried on a vote.  The new recommendation was then formally approved.  In the light of the change, it was agreed that residents adjacent to the land at Windsor Drive should be written to in the same manner as those near Orchard Close had been.

1. To seek to develop a new cemetery on either Orchard Close or Windsor Drive recreation grounds.
2. To appoint consultants to undertake the work required for a Site Contamination Assessment and a Preliminary Environmental Risk Assessment (PRA)/Phase 1 Desk Study Report on both sites.

(The members of the public left the meeting.)

Environment & Leisure 17th March 2014

Environment & Leisure 27th May 2014 
Members were advised that a special meeting was required to discuss the next stage in the process of determining a location for a new cemetery.  The suggested date was Thursday 19th June 2014.
Resolved: To agree 19th June for a Special Environment & Leisure Committee meeting.

Environment & Leisure Committee Minutes
19th June 2014 at 7.30pm

Members considered a report and supporting papers outlining the process to date and options to move forward. The report included detail on:
Background to the project;
The current position for both Orchard Close and Windsor Drive in relation to preliminary planning advice and advice from the Environment Agency;
Options to move forward;
Overall summary / consideration.

Members considered the report in detail and weighed up the issues surrounding both sites.

Resolved: To pursue Orchard Close recreation ground as the site for the new cemetery by completing the monitoring required, submitting the results to the Environment Agency and considering their response in due course.

Town Council Minutes
23rd June 2014 at 7.30pm


Environment &Leisure: 17th March &27th May 2014.

Environment & Leisure Committee
8th September 2014

Environment & Leisure Committee  10th Nov 2014

Environment & Leisure Committee Minutes
27th November 2014 at 7.30pm
A question was asked whether or not a solicitor had been employed by the Council to look into the covenants on Orchard Close.
Members were reminded that it had been agreed at the last meeting to set up an Orchard Close Cemetery Working Group consisting of 5 Councillors, in accordance with the agreed Committee Functions and Terms of Reference.

Cllr Swain proposed an amendment to the Functions, namely “To look in greater depth at other areas for a new cemetery and to consider the type of cemetery it  should be.”  The proposal was duly seconded.  After lengthy discussion on the pros and cons of this addition to the functions, the proposal was put to a vote, with the following result.

For:  2 votes     Against:  0 votes     Abstentions:  2

The proposal was therefore carried.

After further discussion, the following Members volunteered to serve on the Working Group.
Cllrs Mrs S Gilchrist,  RD Hines, DJ Jones, Ms M Rolfe and AS Swain.

Resolved: That the membership of the Orchard Close Cemetery Working Group would be Cllrs Mrs S Gilchrist, RD Hines, DJ Jones, Ms M Rolfe and AS Swain.

*Not a voting member of this committee, / Blog:  Cllr Alan Winter no longer supports Orchard Close. as a cemetery due to land covenant.

Town Council Minutes
8th December 2014 at 7.30pm
To receive the Minutes of the following committees and consider any recommendations contained therein:
Environment & Leisure Committee 19th June and 8th September 2014

Save Orchard Close Park Houghton Regis. Facebook Campaign Group.
1st Feb 2015

Roy Houghton on Facebook, "With the covenant now out in the open, Windsor Drive may have been put back in the frame. A recent resolution carried at HRTC clearly stated that all optios were again up for consideration. my view is let Central Beds Council site a new cemetery in the future Northern Houghton Regis , as promised in the Framework Plan of December 2012, where it was described as ESSENTIAL INFRASTRUCTURE.

8th Feb Luton on Sunday

Town Council 2 March 2015. Agenda 


At the Orchard Close Cemetery Working Group meeting on 23rd February Members received a report suggesting that representations could be made through the planning process for inclusion of land for a new cemetery within HRN2. A copy of the relevant extract from the draft Minutes is attached.

Members will note that consideration was given to the instruction of the cemetery consultant to assist HRTC in making robust representations to this effect. The Town Councils cemetery consultant has suggested that a suitable way forward would be for an analysis to be completed of the land identified as open space within HRN2 using existing bore hole and hydrological data (estimated cost £2.8k). If this analysis suggests it may be feasible to develop a cemetery on any of this open space land further detailed work could be carried out (price dependent on initial work). If the analysis suggests it would not be feasible other areas could be investigated again using existing data although given the extent of the land would be less detailed than the first suggestion (estimated additional cost £2.5k).

Members are requested to endorse the Resolution.

Recommendation: To authorise the appointment of the cemetery consultant to provide input into the HRN2 planning application process to support the provision of a cemetery within this application site.

Councillors present: Miss L Ellaway, J Carroll, E Costello, Mrs S Gilchrist, RD Hines, DJ Jones, AL Roberts, Ms M Rolfe, AS Swain, K Wattingham, AD Winter, M Hunting, R Shimmin

Resolved: To authorise the appointment of the cemetery consultant to provide input into the HRN2 planning application process to support the provision of a cemetery within this application site.

Town Council Minutes 23rd March 2015 at 7.30pm

Proposed new cemetery
It was confirmed that work was progressing but at this point in time it was uncertain as to the timescale for when it would be reported back to Town Council. The Council had objected to the planning application for HRN2 and included in this response was reference to further data being submitted in relation to cemetery provision.

Environment & Leisure Committee - 25th March 2015

MAY 2015 - A new Town Council is elected.

Environment & Leisure Committee Minutes
1st June 2015 at 7.30pm

Mr Houghton asked for clarification that decisions regarding a new cemetery would now be taken through Town Council, rather than the Environment & Leisure Committee.  He was informed that this was the case.

Proposed New Cemetery Working Group Minutes
11th June 2015
PNC5 Update on the proposed New Cemetery
members considered an update report which covered
• The background of the project
•  Progress completed to date on land at Orchard Close
•  Progress completed on the land known as HRN2
Resolved: To note the report.

PNC7 Open Discussion
Members were invited to discuss matters around the future of internment provision in Houghton Regis and the work completed to date. In summary the following points were discussed:
Members were advised that the applicants had submitted their response to the planning application consultation. This would be available online from Tuesday. The Councils cemetery consultation had been advised and would consider the response made to enable the Council to make further representation.
Orchard Close
Members discussed the issues around using this site for future cemetery provision. It was felt that it was inappropriate to use recreational space for cemetery provision.
Existing Cemetery
Options were discussed extending the usable life of the existing cemetery including ceasing burial internments, alterative ashes internments and the scattering of ashes. Members considered these to be viable options worth further consideration.

1. To recommend to Town Council that Orchard Close no longer be pursued for a future cemetery;
2. To continue to make representations for cemetery land provision within HRN2;
3. To seek advice from CBC as to how to secure land north of the link road for a future cemetery, should land not be forthcoming in HRN2;
4. To consider in more detail layout and internment options for the existing cemetery;
5. To liaise with the Church on options to establish a memorial garden within the Churchyard.

An unofficial discussion arose on this on Facebook in February 2017. See This file.

Town Council Minutes
22nd June 2015 at 7.30pm

8127 COMMITTEE MINUTES To receive the Minutes of the following committees and consider any recommendations contained therein;
Environment & Leisure Committee 25th March 2015

Members were advised that a meeting of the Proposed New Cemetery Working Group was held on 11th June 2015. Draft Minute PNC7 records the following resolution:
1. To recommend to Town Council that Orchard Close no longer be pursued for a future cemetery;
2. To continue to make representations for cemetery land provision within HRN2;
3. To seek advice from CBC as to how to secure land north of the link road for a future cemetery, should land not be forthcoming in HRN2;
4. To consider in more detail layout and internment options for the existing cemetery;
5. To liaise with the Church on options to establish a memorial garden within the Churchyard.
Members were requested to consider the first Resolution

1. To note the draft Minutes;
2. To approve that the Town Council no longer pursues Orchard Close for a future cemetery

Environment & Leisure Committee,
7th September 2015 at 7.30pm Minutes

Mr Houghton asked if any progress had been made in getting Orchard Close officially designated as a recreation area.
He also asked when he could expect an answer to his Freedom of Information request of some time ago.

Members had received a report outlining options that would prolong the life of the current cemetery, along with some suggestions on how the appearance of the cemetery could be enhanced. Consideration was given to the option of ceasing full body burials once the current section was completed and using the remainder of the cemetery for the interment of cremated remains only, which would greatly increase the number of years that the cemetery could be used. A lengthy and valuable discussion was also had over the various ways of dealing with cremated remains, including traditional interment, scattering and above ground niche wall interment. It was generally agreed that the preferred way forward would be to accommodate a range of cremated remains interment methods within the available areas of the cemetery, including the older walled area, if possible.

Members agreed that they would like to see the Consultant produce a selection of designs for consideration, with some idea of the number of interments possible for each design.
It was felt that the outlook of the cemetery could be improved by screening around the chalk and trailer storage area, making the entrances more attractive and constructing a new and more durable Memorial Board.
1. To seek to work with CBC to improve vehicular access arrangements, parking arrangements and signage to
the cemetery.
2. To consider the desirability of creating a pedestrian entrance through the existing wall.
3. To cease body burials once the existing section is complete and to publicise this decision to the community.
4. To confirm that the design specification for the new area should include the following provisions:
a. A range of cremated remains interment options, including traditional interment, scattering and
above ground interment,
b. Memorial Plaque board / Memorial Book.
5. To request professional advice on the re-use of the older graves.
6. To request consideration be given to the use of the old walled section to see if this could offer any options.
7. For the design to incorporate the following:
 Compost area
 Chalk / soil waste area
 Trailer store (as existing)
 Housing for a Memorial Book
 Staff accommodation.

Town Council Agenda for 28th Sept 2015 Minutes
Received minutes of Environment & Leisure Committee of 1st June 2015

Environment & Leisure Committee  -
Wednesday 6th January 2016 at 7.30pm.

Members were in receipt of a quotation from Cemetery Development Services for
them to undertake the design of the available remaining space in the Town
Council Cemetery. A second company, namely “Columbaria” had also offered to
quote and it was reported the Deputy Clerk had met with that company’s
representative earlier in the day and that details and costs would be provided in
about two weeks time.
Resolved: To defer discussion until the next meeting when the
alternative quotation would be known.

At the previous meeting, a request had been made for information on the number
of non-parishioner interments that had taken place in the previous 12 months in
comparison to the total number of interments. Members were informed that it was
6 of 46 between November 2014 and October 2015 inclusive. Following a
Environment & Leisure Committee 6
th 3 January 2016
discussion it was agreed to look at this in more detail at the next meeting.
Resolved: To note the information and to continue to monitor

Town Council -
25th January 2016 at 7.30pm
This meeting accepted the minutes of the Environment & Leisure Committee for the 9th November 2015.

Environment & Leisure Committee Minutes
29th February 2016 at 7.30pm

Members were reminded of the quotation from Cemetery Development Services to design the available space remaining at the cemetery. The report from a second company was also circulated at the meeting. Members considered both reports and decided that the better option was to invite Cemetery Development Services to present a design.
Resolved: To appoint Cemetery Development Services to design the remaining space at the cemetery.

The issues that had been raised around the interment of the remains of non-residents of Houghton Regis in the town cemetery were discussed at length. It was agreed that, as the figure was currently only 10% of all interments, to simply monitor the figures for the time being.
Resolved: To continue to monitor the figures for the time being, but if a significant increase develops to report back to the Committee.

Environment &Leisure Committee Minutes
14th 3 November 2016

Members considered the responses received form Cemetery Development Services to the questions they previously raised. Although not entirely satisfied, it was decided that the development of the cemetery needed to be moved forward and the best way was to agree to the proposed design so that costs could be received.
Resolved: To approve the layout as recommended by Cemetery Development Services Limited.


Missing Milo