Cemeteries in North Kirklees set to be expanded to meet urgent need

A natural burial ground is set to be created at a cemetery in North Kirklees.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 5:30 pm
Batley Cemetery, which is being expanded (image: Google)

A five-year plan will see more than £1.2m invested in bereavement services across the Kirklees district, with Liversedge Cemetery, on Clough Lane in Hightown, in line for the natural burial ground, which will include planting.

Approval has already been given to expand Batley Cemetery, with overgrown land used to create space for 600 plots for mostly Muslim burials.

At Dewsbury Crematorium an area will be created to memorialise babies and children.

The investment in cemeteries and crematoria comes before Kirklees Council’s decision-making cabinet tomorrow (Tuesday, July 27) with a recommendation for approval.

A report says: “Some of this capital spend proposed will benefit local contractors, suppliers, and workers.

“It is vital that we encourage the local economy to start moving again, to build confidence and to play an important part in the economic recovery of the borough and the region.”

The wider project up to 2026 includes installing plinths at Hey Lane Cemetery in Huddersfield as well as improvements to footpaths, drainage and access at Batley, Dewsbury, Edgerton, Heckmondwike, Lockwood, Skelmanthorpe and Slaithwaite.

The total cost will be £1.245m. Some work has already been carried out.

A report to the council’s strategic planning committee last summer said there was an “urgent” need for Muslim burial space in the borough as some cemeteries were running out of space.

It was agreed to use a vacant 1.7 acre parcel of sloping land in the north-west corner of the existing cemetery to provide capacity for the next decade.

The report said: “Whilst the need for Christian burial has decreased over recent decades, the need for Muslim burial is urgent.

“The need for burial space within the Batley district and community is identified as being particularly pressing.”