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Hadleigh Cemetery Extension

22 March 2019

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Hadleigh Town Council is pleased to announce that work on the cemetery extension will commence early April 2019.

The Association of Burial Ground Managers recommend – “Where demand is forecast to use all available grave space within 10 years it is prudent for managers intending to extend the life of the burial ground to seek additional land for this purpose without delay.  It would be prudent to allow as long a lead time as possible to ensure continuity of burial services.”   The Local Government Act 1972 states “A burial authority may enclose, lay out and embellish a cemetery in such manner as they think fit” and “A burial authority may construct such roads to a cemetery as they think fit”

The extension will need to settle for approximately 1 year after work has been carried out.   The Council will then decide how they wish this area to be laid out with regard to the percentage of burial, cremation and green burial plots.

Hadleigh Town Council would like to draw attention to the fact that it will not require subsidy from the Council Tax..  Our General Funds are very healthy, largely due to the work put in by the Town Clerk in managing the budget which has meant that the precept has not increased for the last 3 years.  Income from the current and the proposed new cemetery will pay towards the costs.  The Council can also, if necessary, call on the Capital/General Fund which has been boosted by previous income from the cemetery over the years

It has been said that cemeteries are often given scant attention by planners and other local officials, becoming a concern only when a crisis erupts.  Yet cemeteries, like parks, schools, roads and housing are integral to the life of a community.  Moreover cemeteries can serve as more than just the resting place of the dead, providing the living with areas for contemplation, solace and remembrance.  It is fortunate therefore that there was foresight by Hadleigh Town Council to extend the cemetery thus ensuring the future of burials within the town for at least a further 40 years.

A timeline of how this has been achieved is detailed below:-

  • Being aware of the life expectancy of the current cemetery, Hadleigh Town Council began tentative enquiries in 2011 regarding the possibility of purchasing adjacent land for an extension
  • A planning application was submitted to Babergh in December 2013 and approval given 15 months later.  This included plans for a green burial area.
  • Final purchase of the land (3.3 acres) was then completed middle of 2015
  • Plans were available to view on Babergh’s website, at the Annual Town Meetings in2015, 2016 & 2017, at Living with Dying events in 2015 & 2016, the May Show and various Neighbourhood Plan pop-up events
  • The work was put out to tender and these were received in January 2017
  • The lowest tender came in at £1,195,359.29
  • As this was to a “gold” standard, changes to the specification were requested and new tenders came in at June 2017 with a much reduced budget price of £473,386.36
  • The possibility of doing the work in stages was looked into in 2017 but would incur quite additional expense due to mobilisation costs
  • Babergh advised that a Section 73 (variation of condition) application would be required and approval for this was given in early January 2018
  • Following this approval, an application was made to the Public Works Loan Board for £500,000 and this was approved in April 2018.  Approval for applying for the loan having been given by full Council in August 2017 and March 2018.  Council were in receipt of information advising of the repayment amounts and that a contingency of £600,000 should be considered which could be financed from the General Fund.  This loan is a fixed rate loan, repayable 6 monthly, over 25 years, interest calculated at 2.790%, payments will decrease with time.
  • Due to the time lapse the preferred supplier provided an up-to-date price which was provided in May 2018 and had increased to £540,620.83.  Due to the large increase this had to go back to full Council for approval
  • Sadly the preferred supplier went into receivership and although a different company offered to honour the tender this was not legally possible and therefore the project had to be retendered
  • New tenders were received in January 2019 and the recommended supplier was approved by full Council in February 2019 pending verification that the tender was robust
  • A very successful meeting was held and Hugh Pearl were offered the works.  Their tender price for this was £472,597.96