BODIES will be buried two to a grave under a new system coming to Huddersfield.
Councillors are today to discuss plans for a new cemetery at Fenay Bridge as part of an £8.2m project to improve burial services.
And they are expected to agree to a burial chamber system, in which concrete crypts are sunk into the ground and then opened up to take two coffins each.
Each chamber is completely sealed and the system removes the risk of any contamination posed through traditional graves and burials.
That is a key factor at the Fenay Bridge site as the fields off Fenay Lane include a watercourse.
It is thought to be a simple solution to a massive problem confronting the council.
Cemeteries at Edgerton and Lockwood are full, and the ones at Almondbury and Kirkheaton are approaching capacity. Cabinet members are to be asked to approve spending £1.5m on the new cemetery.
A council spokesman said: “If approved, the new cemetery at Fenay Bridge would use a burial chamber system which is suitable for wet ground conditions. It also allows more burials per square metre than traditional methods.
“The burial chambers are pre-installed which avoids the need to dig graves and memorials are an integral part of the chamber system thus saving expenditure for the bereaved families.
“The proposed cemetery plus a replacement crematorium for Dewsbury, are part of the £8.2m capital investment programme in bereavement services agreed by cabinet in 2008.
“The current crematoria facilities are outdated and not customer friendly and the current cremators are costly to maintain with a frequent breakdown rate.
“The proposed new building would seat 120 mourners in a modern bright but calming, comforting and tranquil environment and take advantage of pleasant views. The new facilities would also include a car park and a landscaped area which would enhance the surroundings.”
If the cabinet gives the project the go-ahead it could be completed by late summer 2010.
Ian Welters, of the burial chamber specialists Welters Organisation, said the system would be a first for Huddersfield.
“The big problem at Fenay Bridge concerns the water table and this chamber system is very environmentally friendly. Burial chambers are as old as civilisation but this new system is very sympathetic to the needs of the public.
“We can develop the whole site at once and not have to go back and dig graves as they are needed, which means a clean and welcoming environment for the bereaved families.
“The old-style cemeteries are full and many areas, including Kirklees, are in need of a new system.”