Monday, 15 October 2018

Family told sorry, no mausoleum

A FAMILY’S request for a private mausoleum at the Fairmile Cemetery in Henley is set to be refused.

The town council, which is responsible for the cemetery, was approached by funeral directors Tomalin & Son.

But a report to the council’s recreation and amenities committee warned of some safety concerns.

Council officer Leena Wisely said: “Local stonemasons have raised concerns over leakage, how safe the structure is and how heavy one would be if made of granite.

“There is also a rare chance that they can explode due to gases produced.”

However, she added that a burial chamber specialist had said that zinc-lined chambers would allay these fears.

Councillor Kellie Hinton, who chairs the committee, recommended turning down the request, saying that mausoleums often fell into disrepair.

She said: “If you go down to the St Mary’s churchyard you will see mausoleums in disrepair and they have used chicken wire to repair them.

“They cost about £10,000 to restore and the families are long gone so it falls to the church.

“We could say to the family ‘yes, you can have it but we want to hold £10,000 for when it falls apart’.”

Town clerk Janet Wheeler said: “There is a problem of smell with the gas that’s produced and there is a risk of seepage and I don’t know how high the water table is in the cemetery.”

The committee agreed to recommend the request is politely declined and the full council will make the final decision.

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