Home Burial Considerations

Firstly, planning permission can be a contentious issue, with some local councils in the past insisting that permission is required as it would be a “change of use” from “garden” to “burial ground”. These days though, it is generally accepted that for one or two burials on private land, permission is not needed. If a grand monument is erected (such as a mausoleum) then that’s another matter, but as the majority of home burials follow “green” principles with either a tree or shrub being planted over the grave, planning permission should not be an issue (it’s worth double checking this with them first though, and getting it in writing if possible).

The land owner should check with his solicitor that there is no covenant on the deeds to the land that could prohibit the burial, and also check that no bye law is being broken.

Thought must be given to how long the chosen site will remain in the ownership of the deceased’s family, as unless restrictive covenants are put in place by a solicitor, future owners could exhume the body (with permission from the Home Office) and bury it elsewhere, or even refuse you access to the grave causing considerable heart ache. Financially, having a home burial will be considerably cheaper than a conventional one, but having a body or two buried in the back garden will probably reduce the value of the property somewhat if it is sold in the future. Many buyers might not even consider the purchase of a property that has a body buried in the garden.