Councillor voices concerns over the capacity of graveyard

    Councillor David Cure outside the cemetery on Shipbourne Road

    NOT enough foresight is being applied to the issue of capacity of the 15-acre Tonbridge Cemetery, with it ‘filling up quickly’ according to a borough councillor.

    Cllr David Cure, who represents Judd Ward, is concerned that the high rate of demand cannot be sustained for much longer at the cemetery in Shipbourne Road.

    He has called on the Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council to invest in more land in the town, in order to significantly increase the space to lay the deceased.

    “It’s a basic service to the community to bury your dead. You’ve got to look at least 10-20 years ahead. It’s not going to be cheap, but you’ll have to do it at some point. Better sooner rather than later,” the councillor warned.

    At a meeting of the Communities and Housing Advisory Board on Monday (November 14), a recommendation was put forward to investigate options of expanding capacity ‘in light of current demand’.

    However, Cllr Cure is unconvinced that this will look far enough ahead, suggesting it will only think of the next ‘five or six years’.

    During the meeting on Monday 14, a 1.5 per cent increase to cemetery charges was outlined. The purchase of an adult plot will cost £964, rising from £950. This rise will generate additional net income of approximately £1,800.

    The cemetery, which was opened in 1848, currently has approximately 18,000 people buried there.

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