UCL News


UCL in the News: The plot thickens: Brits face housing shortage - for the dead

24 July 2007

As an island that's already 12 times more crowded than the United States, England barely has enough room to house its living residents anymore, let alone its dead ones.

And that's exactly why the British government has just ruled that local authorities can re-use burial plots. …

The idea of sharing a plot "is not hugely controversial, especially as we're quite a secular society," said Dr Nick Gallent [UCL Bartlett School]. "Some 80 percent of allocated burial space in England is currently in use, and we're rapidly running out of space.

"This is increasing the costs of plots in some areas, making access to burial plots socially exclusive or meaning that some families have to bury loved ones many miles from their homes or first-choice cemetery," he said.

Gallent said that some plots already have time limits with bereaved families being told they'll have to remove and transfer remains after just 10 years. …

Shelley Emling, 'Chicago Tribune'