Grave Danger!

How can we protect the burial sites and graveyards from future developments and how do we ensure that the remains of those loved ones are treated with both dignity and respect?

Mums Headstone 2

This is a topic that is close to my heart as I have previously lead a campaign myself, against a Developer being granted planning permission, to build over consecrated land at an Independent chapel in South Ockendon, in Essex.

My letter of protest to both the local authority and the local press eventually brought about a u-turn by the developer, who fortunately decided to withdraw his application.

I am aware however that we live in a world where space is short and land is at a premium, so how can we protect current burial sites?

There are of course laws that protect the burial sites and also rigorous planning permission rules that need to be followed, including reburial in nearby cemeteries, but is this enough?

This is not a new subject, there have always been developments that have been either close to or encroached on consecrated ground, but how can we keep the final resting place of those that have passed protected?

With large numbers of graveyards falling into disrepair and the chances of finding living descendants fairly remote, does this fall into the developers hands and give the local authorities carte blanche to grant planning permission?

Herbert Chiddicks Grave 1

Ask yourself are you doing enough to protect the graveyards and burial sites of those that have long since passed? Is waiting for a 100 years to pass, sufficient time to allow remains to be moved and what other alternatives left are there?

Should we let the dead “rest in peace’ and should all burial sites, no matter how large or small, or where they are located, be permanently protected by law?

Some important additional information has cropped up in a discussion on roots chat regarding the subject matter of my blog, that I wish to share with everyone, as I think this is a key thing to consider.

If you have a relative buried in a cemetery or graveyard, you should consider contacting the authority who manages the burial site and register your “interest” in a particular plot of your loved ones. That way, should there be any future developments on the site, you should be informed and hopefully the plot protected. Thanks to glenclare on rootschat for the excellent advice.

Please see my regular blog for Family Tree Magazine Here


2 thoughts on “Grave Danger!

  1. There was a cemetery out here in St. Louis, Missouri, USA in the 1800s that was sold to a developer & a school currently sits on that property. Family members were given a deadline to move their deceased relatives to other cemeteries. Whatever bodies were left were buried in different cemeteries, but some were probably left behind. There are no removal records to exist. My 2nd great grandma had three children buried there. This is so sad when this happens. Great post.


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