A PARISH council leader has raised concerns over the potential loss of burial ground in Burton.
Geoffrey Willett, chairman of Brizlincote Parish Council, spoke out following proposals to change ownership of land off Scalpcliffe Road, which is currently used as allotments.
At present, the land, owned by East Staffordshire Borough Council, is on standby to join the nearby Stapenhill Cemetery should the need for more space arise in coming years.
But if ownership changes hands to Brizlincote Parish Council, the land would then have to remain as allotments, regardless of what the parish council wants it to be used for.
Mr Willett revealed his concerns as he felt people had the right to know that more burial ground could be about to disappear from the region, alluding to the controversial sale of Bretby Crematorium which sparked anger among the public, with many feeling that the plans were carried out without enough consultation.
He said: “We’re expecting to hear from the borough council very soon over this. My feeling is simply that I want Burton people to know if there are plans to renounce ownership of land that, albeit used as allotments at the moment, will no longer be available to be used as burial land.
“South Derbyshire has had problems with space running out in Gresley and Newhall and places like that. In Burton we’re having to find suitable land and we need to keep the cemetery together for as long as we can.
“The land is quite reasonably being used as allotments as it’s not required at the moment, but if ownership is passed on, we will lose that choice.
“Graves are hard to come by and there was a lot of criticism over the Bretby sale. We might not need the land now but once it’s gone it’s gone. The people of Burton ought to know if they are going to lose possession of the area in the long term.”
East Staffordshire Borough Council confirmed that it was in the process of transferring ownership of the land.