A donation of soil and labour from a housing firm has extended the lifespan of Bourne’s cemetery by “at least another 10 years”.
Kier Living, which is developing part of the neighbouring Elsea Park estate, has helped raise the land level in a vacant plot next to the town’s cemetery in South Road.
Bourne Town Council has wanted to use the plot for new burials for some time. But the level and condition of the land has proved prohibitive.
Town clerk Nelly Jacobs said: “The back part of the cemetery is a very low-lying field. It’s too waterlogged to be used for burials.
“We had been looking at a new system which was extremely costly.
“Kier offered free soil, labour and machinery and put up the level by at least two feet. Once the land has settled we will be able to bury with very few problems.”
The “new system” to which Mrs Jacobs referred was first considered by the council in 2013. The stacking design by David Spiers allowed for up to four coffins to be buried in one plot, where traditionally just one would be.
The solid sides of the structure’s frame would allow graves to be placed closer together.
Mrs Jacobs and councillor Trevor Holmes visited Walsall Burial Park in Staffordshire to view the space-saving design.
The town council approached South Kesteven District Council to ask whether Section 106 money from the Elsea Park development, allocated for community projects, could be directed towards providing more cemetery space.
Eventually councillors concluded that the stacking scheme would have cost too much. But thanks to Keir Living’s donation the cemetery can now be expanded for future use.
Mrs Jacobs said: “It’s extending the lifespan of the cemetery by at least another 10 years. It wasn’t really a very usable field. But now by resetting the land level it is usable. It would have cost the council money, mainly through having to pay for levelling off and seeding.
“The stacking system would have barely paid for itself. But with the extra soil we can dig down without too many problems.”
The land level is being raised in two phases. The soil will need to be given time to settle before it can be used.