Cemetery shortage

Intake Cemetery in Sheffield which is close to maximum capacity
Intake Cemetery in Sheffield which is close to maximum capacity
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Some of Sheffield’s 12 cemeteries have only enough graves to last for the next 10 years, The Star can reveal.

Burncross cemetery has 50 graves free, while Intake has 75 plots remaining. Beighton cemetery has just 130.

Concerns have been raised nationally about Britain’s cemeteries running out of burial plots – and Sheffield Council is already examining whether extra space will be necessary here in the future.

Michael Fogg, of Michael Fogg Independent Funeral Directors based in Intake, told The Star it was a ‘massive worry’.

He said: “It is a massive concern to a lot of people, particularly with Intake and Woodhouse cemeteries.

“At Woodhouse there isn’t a turning circle, so when you drive in you can’t turn around – but the council can’t put a turning circle in because there is just not enough room.

“It is almost full to capacity.”

There are 180 graves left at Woodhouse.

Mr Fogg added: “Christian families will put several families in one plot.

“But when it is a Muslim burial only one person can be placed in a plot.

“Muslims also can’t be cremated, they have to be buried, and the lack of graves will be a major problem in the long term.

“In London now they are talking about reusing graves. If a family plot has not been used for 100 years they will dig that out.

“I don’t agree with it, but the day will come when they are reusing graves in Sheffield.

“There are so many graves which nobody visits in City Road – there are headstones that have fallen down.”

Figures revealed under The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign show it is smaller sites that have the fewest graves left.

Burial space at larger cemeteries, such as City Road which has 1,300 graves remaining, will last for between 20 and 30 years – although the smaller sites have only an estimated 10 to 20 years remaining.

In total, 7,240 graves are left in Sheffield’s 12 cemeteries, according to the data.

Burngreave, Darnall and Norton cemeteries have been full for decades, and there is space for more than 1,500 graves at Stocksbridge.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Sheffield Council is fully committed to ensuring there are sufficient new grave spaces available across the city.

“We have already begun work on this, by identifying the availability of space at each cemetery and considering if additional space may be necessary in the future.

“Burials account for approximately 30 per cent of all bereavements, and we are confident we can meet the demand for new burial plots over the coming decades and beyond.”