THE first burials at Huddersfield’s new cemetery could take place within weeks.

Officials are hoping the 8,000-place facility will be ready next month.

Work on the site at Stirley Hill, at Berry Brow, is slightly behind schedule, but Kirklees Council hopes to host an open day for families in October.

Work began on the site off Hey Lane in October last year, with most of the work getting under way this summer.

There had been a lot of controversy over the plans as people expressed concerns about the exposed nature of the site and the fact that part of it is subject to flooding.

Others were also worried that public transport links to the site below Castle Hill are limited.

Flooding at Stirley Hill near Castle Hill
Flooding at Stirley Hill near Castle Hill
 

The new graveyard has been described as essential by the council as existing cemeteries are almost full.

There is hardly any capacity at Huddersfield, Lockwood or Almondbury.

Councillors looked at many options and at one point had chosen a site at Fenay Bridge.

But that plan was withdrawn and the new site off Hey Lane was identified.

Council staff are now putting finishing touches to the site, including car parking areas and shelters.

A council spokesman said: “We are looking at an open date in mid October.

“We have had to increase car parking on the site to accommodate the biggest funerals we have had and expect to have in the future, but parking is less intrusive because it is grass grid parking.

“Work is also being done to minimise visual impact of buildings like the toilets. They are constructed from stone that blends in with the area.

“We are also looking at lots of woodland planting.

“The idea is to minimise impact on local residents with shelters away from nearby properties and extra bus stops away from houses in the area.”