Cemetery Regulations - October 2016

Regulations apply to all NDC burial grounds

1. Introduction

1.1. These regulations apply to all burial grounds owned and/or managed by the North Devon Council. Currently the sites include:

  • Bear Street Cemetery, Barnstaple
  • Marlborough Road Cemetery, Ilfracombe

2. Contact Details

2.1. All funeral bookings, general enquiries and comments regarding the North Devon Cemeteries should be directed to:

The Cemetery Officer
North Devon Crematorium
Old Torrington Road
EX31 3NW
Telephone: 01271 345431
Email: cemeteries@northdevon.gov.uk

2.2. These Regulations are in addition to the provisions of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977 and any other appropriate regulations currently in force.

3. Admission to the Cemeteries

3.1. The Cemeteries are open for visitors every day of the year during the following times:

Bear Street Cemetery

Vehicle and Pedestrian Access
Summer (1April – 31 October)
Mon – Fri 8.00 to 20.00
Sat – Sun 9.00 to 20.00
Winter (1 November – 31 March)
Mon – Fri 8.00 to 17.00
Sat – Sun 9.00 to 17.00

No person is permitted to be in Bear Street Cemetery outside of the published opening hours without the express permission of the Cemetery Officer.

Marlborough Road Cemetery

Vehicle Access
Mon - Fri 9.00 to 16.00
There is pedestrian access to the Cemetery at all times.

3.2. The North Devon Cemeteries are places of peace and quiet reflection. They are also workplaces. Visitors to the site are welcome, but please respect the special nature of the site, the needs of other users, and safety factors. No games, sports, riding of bicycles, skateboards, roller blades or similar are allowed in the cemeteries. No consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs may take place within the cemeteries, and anybody under the effects of such substances will not be admitted. Indecent or obscene language should not be used within the cemeteries

3.3. Any person creating a nuisance or a disturbance, such as interfering with a funeral, grave, headstone, flowers, trees etc, will be required to leave the cemetery immediately and may be the subject of subsequent legal action

3.4. Children under the age of 14 are welcome in the cemeteries but must be supervised by a responsible adult. It is particularly important that children are not allowed to climb on any monuments within the cemetery

3.5. Dogs are permitted in the cemeteries, but must be kept on a lead at all times and must not be allowed to foul in the cemeteries

3.6. There is limited vehicle access at Marlborough Road Cemetery with no on site parking; visitors to the Cemetery can park on the road outside and enter the cemetery on foot. Bear Street Cemetery has a small car parking area at the entrance, visitors can leave their cars here and access the rest of the site on foot

3.7. Visitors with disabilities or other special requirements should contact the Cemetery Officer who will be pleased to assist

4. General Regulations

4.1. No employee of the Council is allowed to take any gratuity, or to undertake paid private work of any kind in connection with the North Devon Cemeteries either in their own time or during their employed hours

4.2. No person shall canvass or solicit business in the cemeteries

4.3. All fees for interments or memorial works must be paid in full in advance to the North Devon Council

4.4. The Council will publish a scale of fees and charges annually. Residents who live within the North Devon Council area will qualify for reduced fees compared to non-residents. A resident is defined as somebody who, immediately prior to their death, was a resident of North Devon, or who lived in North Devon for over ten years and moved out of the area less than six months before their death

4.5. The Council reserves the right to amend these regulations and to deal with any circumstances or contingency not provided for in the regulations as necessary

5. Graves

5.1. Graves are available in Bear Street and Marlborough Road cemeteries. Graves will be allocated on a next available basis, at the discretion of the Council

5.2. The Exclusive Right of Burial for a grave can be purchased for a period of 30 years. The Exclusive Right of Burial also allows a memorial to be placed on the grave, subject to the Council’s memorial regulations

5.3. A grave may be purchased in advance of need, ie pre-purchased at Bear Street Cemetery only. The length of the lease commences on the day of purchase, not when the grave is first used

5.4. The Exclusive Right of Burial can only be transferred to another person via the legal process laid out in the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977, ie assigned by deed or bequeathed by will

5.5. Following the purchase of a grave a deed will be produced by the Council and sent to the purchaser(s). The Council will permit up to two grave owners to be named on a deed

5.6. The types of graves available are Full Graves, Cremated Remains Graves and Children’s Graves. Cremated Remains graves are for the burial of cremated remains only, and can accommodate up to three sets of remains (depending on the size of container). Children’s graves are for the burial of babies or children up to 10 years of age

5.7. All graves will be excavated and prepared for interment by Council approved contractors only. No other person or company will be allowed to undertake any excavation within the cemetery except with the express permission of the Cemetery Officer. The depth of each grave will be determined by the Council in accordance with the provisions of the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order 1977

5.8. Where a burial takes place in an unpurchased grave the Council retain the Rights and may bury other unrelated persons in the grave. The grave cannot be memorialsed or reserved. The period of time between burials and allocation of the grave will be determined by the Council

5.9. Following the interment the Council will level the grave and either re-turf or topsoil and seed it as appropriate to the season

6. Coffins

6.1. Coffins, caskets and urns for burial must be made from suitable biodegradable materials such as wood, wicker, cane, bamboo, wool, cardboard etc. Non-biodegradable materials will not be accepted

6.2. If a coffin or casket is of a size that two grave spaces are required, the grave purchaser will be charged accordingly

7. Booking of Interments

7.1. A provisional booking for a funeral must be made by telephone to the Cemetery Officer

7.2. The provisional booking should be followed up by the submission of a completed Notice of Interment (form supplied by North Devon Council) to the Cemetery Officer at least 48 working hours in advance of the intended date and time of the funeral. Receipt of the fully and correctly completed Notice of Interment will act as confirmation of the provisional booking

7.3. As much information relating to the funeral as possible must be given to the Council in advance, especially if it is unusual, eg. large number of mourners expected, motorbike cavalcade, jazz band, piper etc

7.4. If the grave is purchased and is to be reopened for a further interment, the written permission of the registered grave owner(s) must be given

7.5. It is the responsibility of the person making the funeral arrangements to ensure that any memorial on the grave is removed from it at least 48 working hours prior to the date and time of the funeral

7.6. The Certificate of Disposal (Green Certificate) given by the Registrar of Births and Deaths or an order of the Coroner must be delivered to the Council Offices prior to the funeral

7.7. The Council will determine the appropriate fees to be paid for the funeral, which must be paid fully in advance

8. Interments

8.1. Funerals will normally only be permitted Monday to Friday 09.30 – 14.30 (excluding Bank or other Public Holidays). It may be possible to arrange funerals outside of these times subject to an additional cost and the agreement of the Cemetery Officer. Please contact the Cemetery Officer if a time outside of the permitted hours is required

8.2. All funerals will be subject to the control of the Council’s designated officer, or appropriate person in their absence, who will meet the cortege and direct it to the grave as appropriate

8.3. The time appointed for an interment must be punctually observed. The Council reserves the right to delay a late arriving funeral in the event that it impacts on another service

8.4. It is the responsibility of the person making the funeral arrangements to organize a Minister or other Officiate for the funeral if one is required

8.5. Any floral tributes from the funeral will be placed on top of the grave following backfilling, and will remain in situ for a period of 14 days or less if considered unsightly, before being cleared by Council staff (unless family have already removed them)

9. Memorials

9.1. The Council has adopted a Management of Memorials Policy dealing with memorial installations, safety inspections and making safe unstable memorials. Masons carrying out work in the burial grounds must comply with the Council’s Management of Memorials Policy

9.2. Only those memorial masons businesses that are BRAMM accredited, and those memorial masons that hold a current BRAMM Fixer Licence, will be able to work in the North Devon Cemeteries. Fixers who do not yet hold a BRAMM Fixer Licence will only be permitted to work under the direct supervision of a mason who holds a BRAMM Fixer Licence

9.3. Memorials in the cemeteries other than those fixed by a BRAMM accredited memorial mason are not allowed. Fences cannot be erected around a grave nor the space defined by planting or any other method. On lawn graves placing of objects is confined to the head of the grave and no objects can be placed on the length of the grave

9.4. Before any memorial may be erected or works undertaken to an existing memorial, an application must be submitted to the Cemetery Officer on the appropriate form supplied by the Council, and the relevant fees paid. The grave owner must sign the form to give their permission for the proposed memorial/works. On approval by the Council a permit will be issued to the responsible Memorial Mason

9.5. Memorials must be fixed in accordance with the current provisions of British Standard 8415 and any amendments made to it

9.6. Memorials must be constructed of materials suitable to the environment and period of grave lease. The Council reserves the right to reject an application for any memorial that it deems unsuitable

9.7. The maximum height of lawn memorials is 3’, the maximum width is 2’ and the depth is 12”. The memorial must be a minimum of 3” thick. On cremated remains graves the maximum height of a memorial is 2’ and the maximum width 18”

9.8. The memorial mason must inscribe the company name only on the reverse of the stone towards the base in lettering not more than 1” high. No trademark, phone number or other advertising will be allowed. The memorial mason must also inscribe the grave number towards the bottom right hand side of the reverse of the memorial in letters not exceeding 1” high

9.9. Memorial masons must remove all arisings from the cemetery at the conclusion of their work, and must leave the area in a tidy condition. It is not possible for memorials to be stored in the cemetery prior to re-fixing following a burial – all such memorials must be removed from the site by the memorial mason appointed to remove the memorials prior to the grave being excavated

10. Care of Graves and Memorials

10.1. All memorials are erected at the sole responsibility of the owner and the Council shall not be held responsible for any damage to or caused by the memorial, howsoever incurred. The memorial remains the responsibility of the grave owner during the lease period of the grave. The Council reserves the right to repair or make safe any memorial which becomes unsafe or falls into disrepair, and to recover any expenses from the registered owner. The Council will undertake routine safety checks on all memorials, and will notify the grave owner at the last registered address of any necessary works to make the memorial safe. The grave owner will be given a period of 6 months from the date of the letter to effect the necessary repairs. The Council reserves the right to temporarily make safe any memorials that pose a threat until such works are completed. If the grave owner does not arrange for the repairs to be made, the Council may repair or remove the memorial at the owner’s expense

10.2. The grave owner is advised to consider taking out insurance on any memorial to ensure that repairs would be covered in the event of any damage occurring

10.3. Grave spaces must be kept in a neat and tidy condition, and all litter must be removed from the site

10.4. All flower holders or other items left on graves must be made of non-breakable material. Glass vessels must not be left in the cemetery. Any items left on graves are at the owners’ risk and the Council cannot be held responsible for any damage to them howsoever caused. The Council may remove any articles from any grave that are likely to cause risk, damage or offence to other visitors to the cemetery or which interfere with the Council’s maintenance of the site

10.5. No trees may be planted on graves. The Council may remove any plants that it considers unsuitable or that infringe on other grave spaces or interfere with the Council’s maintenance work