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Work to begin on new Rowley Regis cemetery

Work to construct a new cemetery in Rowley Regis will begin in the coming weeks, securing burial space for Sandwell residents for decades to come.

Preparatory work including surveys and the installation of signage will start on open space off Powke Lane, close to the existing cemetery and crematorium, in August.

The main construction and landscaping work will then begin in early 2021 and is expected to be completed by January 2022.

Plans for the site include the creation of space for burials which will serve the people of Sandwell for the next 50 years, as well as an office building and toilets for staff and mourners.

Work on the new cemetery will see more than 70% of the existing green area remain as public open space. Public rights of way will also be maintained.

Signage will start to be installed at the site ahead of work starting and residents are reassured that the majority of mature trees on the site will not be removed.

Some non-native species, smaller trees and undergrowth clearance work will be necessary at the entrance to the site.

Plans for the site also include enhancing wooded areas and work on the former canal arm. Councillor Wasim Ali, Cabinet Member for Resources and Core Services, said:

“We’ve thought long and hard about a new cemetery in Rowley Regis and we agreed to do this late last year.

“Now work can begin on the site we want people to be aware of what’s happening.

“This new cemetery is necessary as we are rapidly running out of burial space in Sandwell.”

Deputy Leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Maria Crompton, added:

“Without this new site, we’re facing the possibility of families being unable to bury their loved ones here in the not too distant future.

“It will take up less than 30 per cent of the green space we’re using, and the rest of the area will still be open to the public for walks and other activities. The cemetery and the surrounding open space will still be a sanctuary for wildlife.

“Work will be carried out with the minimum of disruption to residents and we’ll be focussing on not only improving the open space that remains accessible to residents, but also boosting the ecological value of the site.”

Progress and details of the scheme will also be shared on the council website at sandwell.gov.uk/newcemetery.

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