Houghton Regis Cemetery

The Cemetery is open to the public throughout the year but the Council reserves the right to exclude the public if it should be necessary at any time. 

Houghton Regis Town Council manages the Houghton Regis Cemetery and takes pride in maintaining it to a high standard and creating an atmosphere of peace and calm. The cemetery is managed in accordance with approved Cemetery Regulations.

Visitors to the Cemetery are asked to observe the regulations governing the Cemetery. 

Inquiries concerning the Cemetery can be made to: 

Houghton Regis Town Council, Peel Street, Houghton Regis, Beds LU5 5EY 

Tel: 01582 708540              E-mail: info@houghtonregis.org.uk

For cemetery fees please click HERE

Cemetery Regulation click HERE

The Registers and records relating to the Cemetery are available, by appointment, for inspection at the Council Offices.

Please telephone or email to make an appointment.

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As many residents are aware there is no further space at the Houghton Regis Cemetery for new body burials. We have been working hard over many years to identify a new site and have invested considerable sums of money in exploring each and every opportunity.

Our work has been following 2 strands:

The first being the design and development of the remaining space within the current cemetery. We have created a truly beautiful and peaceful Garden of Remembrance whilst providing residents with a variety of options for ashes entombment in this area. 

The second strand relates to the ongoing search for new cemetery land.

As you would expect with all the development taking place around the town, this has not proved easy. The New Cemetery Sub Committee have considered a variety of sites but for various reasons, largely geological and ownership reasons, these have proved unsuitable.


Update October 2022

In July 2021 the Council agreed to investigate the land at Grendall Lane for use as a cemetery. This investigation would take 12 months to complete and the results would be compiled and sent to the Environment Agency for consideration and comment. In July 2022, a few months short of the 12 month monitoring period, the cemetery consultants contacted the council with interim results which highlighted concerns over the level of the water table at Grendall Lane. In light of this, the council received advice which presented 3 engineering options which may make the site more suitable for a cemetery use. These options were outlined in the July 2022 update below. Each option presented its own challenges and limitations. For more detail please refer to the Agendas and supporting reports https://bit.ly/NewCemetery.   Although designs were not drawn up for the options it was estimated that the cost of implementation would be in the region of £500,000 to £1,000,000 plus the cost of developing the site itself (the car park, the internal access network, utilities, fencing, landscaping etc). Combined it was thought that a total scheme cost of £1,000,000 - £2,000,000 would be likely. The implications of this anticipated cost were heavily debated by the council at meetings in July, August and September with regard being given to the desirability of providing burial space within the town being considered against the financial burden it would place on all residents in providing such a facility. Ultimately the following was Resolved:

  1. To recognise the significant works that are likely to be required to enable Grendall Lane to be brought into use as a cemetery and to determine at this time that these works are financially inhibitive for the Council and as such further investigations into this site will cease;
  2. To notify Central Bedfordshire Council, as landowner, of this position;
  3. To continue to search for alternative sites and to present any options to CDS for a preliminary assessment to enable initial consideration by the council.

So although the council has decided to cease investigating Grendall Lane, a commitment has been made to continue to search for alternative sites as we recognise the importance of providing a cemetery to bury loved ones in.   


Update July 2022

However about a year ago, we spoke to Central Bedfordshire Council about the possibility of developing a piece of land at the end of Grendall Lane (off the Thorn Road). There were mixed views on the suitability of this site, due to the surrounding land uses and concerns over land drainage and site topography. However it really did appear to be this site or face the possibility of the town not having a local burial ground. We began an extensive period of ground water monitoring so we could present the findings to the Environment Agency for consideration. The findings were reported to the Council’s New Cemetery Sub Committee on Monday 18th July. Advice from our consultants was that to bring this site forward as a burial ground would require one of the following options:

  1. Dewatering
  2. A series of deep land drains, pumping chambers and treatment plants could be installed on site to manage and lower the water table.
  3. This would require an environmental permit from the EA and permission to discharge treated water from the LLFA/drainage board into the adjacent ditch.
  4. Long term, there would be requirement for ongoing maintenance of the pumping chamber  and treatment works.
  5. The cost of such work is likely to be significant, potentially in the region of £500k to £1million for the drainage works alone.
  6. The likelihood of getting approval for such a scheme to be low.
  7. Land Raising
  8. Due to the shallow nature of the groundwater identified in the northern part of the site, consideration could be given to land raising to provide the required unsaturated zone thickness.
  9. Soils could be imported onto the site under the CL:aire protocol, and given the numerous developments taking place in the area could be economical to source.
  10. The volume and height of the land raise would need to be assessed in greater detail to understand its impact.
  11. Land drains running beneath the site would still need to be removed.
  12. The EA are unlikely to object to such a proposal, however planning would be more difficult to obtain and would be the key issue.
  13. Site tiering
  14. This would involve creating land tiers within the site to create flat areas on the steeper slope. The steeper slope has a lower ground water level so is more suitable to body burials

Councillors were faced with a very difficult dilemma. On the one hand Members were very aware that there is a demand from residents for a burial ground but on the other the indicative costs, and Environment Agency and Planning requirements associated with Grendall Lane were prohibitive. The options for Grendall Lane were not designed and indicative costs only were suggested but these, on top of the general development costs for a cemetery, would see the overall site establishment costs to be in the region of £1-2m. After much debate it was decided not to proceed with any further investigations into Grendall Lane but to continue to look for alternative sites in the town.

Last updated about 1 year ago