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Private land burials

Burials on private land

People who hold the freehold to a property have the right to carry out a burial in that land.

It is generally considered that formal planning permission is not required for a single grave in these circumstances. However, as legislation and policies are subject to change it would be prudent to contact the local planning office to confirm the position prior to making any arrangements.

Subsequent to any burial taking place the details of that burial must be recorded on the deeds to the property.

These details must include the full name of the person interred, the date of the interment and the exact location of the grave.

Environmental Health

The Environmental Health Department do not need to be involved with any burial taking place. However, should any problems or complications arise from the burial in the future the Environmental Health Department can be brought in by neighbours or subsequent owners of the property. This could result in the remains being exhumed and re-interred or cremated elsewhere.

Therefore it would be advisable to have a professional survey of the proposed burial site. This will reveal any potential for interference with watercourses, natural or otherwise. This is the most likely area where problems could arise. It would also be advisable to contact the Environmental Agency Thames Region (North East Area) and the local water company for the area to assist in this.

It is recommended however, that the Environmental Health Department of the Local Authority be advised of any burial so that an accurate record can be kept should the land be developed in the future.

Local Burial Authority

The local Cemetery Section has no jurisdiction over burials of this nature and would not be involved in any part of the arrangements, although most cemetery offices should be in a position to offer guidance on how to proceed.