Burials temporarily suspended at Crow Lane Cemetery, Romford

Crow Lane Cemtery, Romford. Pic: John Hercock

Crow Lane Cemtery, Romford. Pic: John Hercock - Credit: Archant

Burials have been suspended at Romford’s Crow Lane Cemetery due to high ground water levels.

None can take place for at least three weeks, Havering Council has decided.

Current levels mean that any new graves dug would fill with water and could collapse.

The South Essex Crematorium in Upminster has not been as severely affected and burials can continue there.

The council says it has ensured all funeral directors are kept informed and will be continually reviewing the situation for signs of improvement.

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Burials were last suspended at the site 10 years ago – a year which did not experience as much rainfall as 2012.

Where bereaved families want to bury a family member in an existing grave with a relative, the council says it will look at each case individually and accommodate the request wherever possible.

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This will depend on the location of the grave and the depth needed for a new burial.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing and public protection, said: “This is an extremely rare situation and we have not taken the decision to suspend burials in Romford lightly.

“We must do this as we cannot risk graves flooding or collapsing. We know bereavement is the most difficult time for families and therefore we will do everything we can to support them.

“Burials will continue to take place in Upminster and we will continue to monitor the situation so that as soon as it improves burials can once again take place in Romford.”

A July 2011 council report stated that the cemetery was nearing capacity and was only likely to be able to accommodate one more year of use.

The year 2012 was the wettest on record in England.

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