Ealing to rip up allotments in cemetery expansion prompted by Covid deaths in the borough

By Isabel Millett

15th Mar 2022 | Local News

Greenford Park Cemetery will expand into the nearby Windmill Lane Allotments (Image: Pitshanger Allotments)
Greenford Park Cemetery will expand into the nearby Windmill Lane Allotments (Image: Pitshanger Allotments)

A West London council is planning to rip up allotments to create more graves for residents after a high number of Covid deaths in the borough.

Ealing has agreed to increase the size of Greenford Park Cemetery by expanding into the nearby Windmill Lane Allotments.

The council's decision was prompted by the high number of Covid deaths in the borough which meant that its space for graves was used up much quicker than expected.

According to data released by the Office for National Statistics, 1,000 Ealing residents had passed away due to Covid 19 by the start of February this year, with a total of 1,018 deaths Covid-related deaths in the borough registered by February 18.

Proposing the expansion of Greenford Park cemetery, council leader Peter Mason said: "Ealing recently went through the process of noting with great sadness the 1000th mortality due to Covid in the borough.

"What that has meant, therefore, unfortunately for many families in our borough, is that there has been, over the past two years, an increasing need for burial at a rate which the council could not have predicted before the pandemic.

"And therefore, the space available for burials in the borough has been used at a rate not anticipated had it not been for the pandemic."

According to the council, the cemetery's expansion into the allotments would provide approximately 1,560 extra burial plots expected to be used up over the next seven to eight years.

According to Cllr Mason, the council will be consulting with residents who own plots at the Windmill Lane Allotments and promised to guarantee that any plot-holders who wanted to keep an allotments space would be provided for.

Now that the council has agreed to the cemetery's expansion, Ealing will ask developers to come forward with designs for the project. The council has allocated £2.8 million towards the cemetery's expansion and aims for construction to be completed by July 2023.

Ealing Council has been approached for comment.

     

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