Dignity’s report flags up areas needing more burial space in Rotherham

MALTBY cemetery and the Muslim section at East Herringthorpe are the areas of most concern, Dignity’s long-term burial plan admits.
Maltby CemeteryMaltby Cemetery
Maltby Cemetery

The firm has submitted its long-awaited strategic report covering how demand for grave plots will be met over the next 35 years.

The document notes the continuing rise in requests for cremations but confirms that “healthy provision” is needed to cater for families’ wishes and beliefs on burials.

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Dignity’s report says: “The area of most concern is within the Muslim section. On average there are around 20 burials taking place in the section on an annual basis. At that rate the provision will struggle at around the two-year mark from the date of this report.”

Section to the south-east of East Herringthorpe Cemetery, which could be used for expanding the area used for Muslim burialsSection to the south-east of East Herringthorpe Cemetery, which could be used for expanding the area used for Muslim burials
Section to the south-east of East Herringthorpe Cemetery, which could be used for expanding the area used for Muslim burials

An area in the south-east corner of the cemetery grounds is being considered to expand the Muslim section.

But the report adds: “Ultimately if the land is not deemed suitable in its entirety, then the current service provision for the Muslim community in the existing area, would be at full capacity within seven years.

“The council may wish to explore new areas of land in which to develop for this service provision.”

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Maltby is the only cemetery rated red on the traffic light scale because the remaining space will last only “four to five years” based on current demand.

Dignity’s report says: “With the lack of opportunities to increase capacity for the people of Maltby, it will soon require another dedicated site.

“It would be difficult to see how the community would be prepared to consider travelling to East Herringthorpe to bury loved ones when there is no connection to the area.”

RMBC says there is currently 12 years’ supply of space at East Herringthorpe (not including the Muslim section) and ten at Greasbrough and Haugh Road. Wath has about a decade too but planning permission granted in October 2023 is expected to add up to 40 years.

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Joy Newton, head of region for Dignity, said: “Dignity strives to maintain places of solace and tranquillity where local families can remember and say a final goodbye to their loved ones.

“Our strategic long-term plan details how we can maintain and deliver improvements to burial and cremation services in Rotherham for generations to come.

“This includes an overview of the extension to Wath Cemetery which received planning permission in October 2023. This project will satisfy future burial needs in the area for at least the next 30 years.

“We are also proposing to extend East Herringthorpe Cemetery, creating an additional 116 new tombs in the Muslim burial area and a new multi-faith burial area with 432 graves.”

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Cllr Saghir Alam, cabinet member for corporate services, community safety and finance, said: “The council continues to identify and provide land for future burial provision per its contractual responsibility. Dignity is contractually obliged to develop this land and bring into operational use.

“The council’s bereavement services will continue to work closely with Dignity to monitor operational years remaining in existing municipal cemeteries and request periodic updates to the operational plan which will indicate when further external developments are required.”

The council has ditched plans for £10,000 qibla stone – a compass design pointing towards Mecca – after recent talks with the Muslim community.

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