Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act 1981

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1981 c. 18


Disused Burial Grounds (Amendment) Act 1981

1981 CHAPTER 18

An Act to amend the Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884 to enable building to take place on certain disused burial grounds with appropriate safeguards; and for purposes connected therewith.

[21st May 1981]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Exclusion of Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884in certain cases.

1 Exclusion of Disused Burial Grounds Act 1884in certain cases.

(1) Notwithstanding section 3 of the principal Act (which prohibits the erection of buildings on disused burial grounds except in certain cases) but subject to section 2 of this Act a building may be erected on a disused burial ground or part thereof which is or has been owned by or on behalf of a church or other religious body provided that either—

(a ) no interments have ever taken place in such land, or

(b ) no personal representative or relative of any deceased person whose remains have been interred in such land during the period of fifty years immediately before the proposal to erect a building thereon has in accordance with subsection (2) of this section duly objected to the proposal or all such objections have been withdrawn.

(2) Notice of any proposal to erect a building on land in which human remains are interred shall be given by or on behalf of the church or other religious body by whom or on whose behalf the land is held by—

(a ) advertisement in two successive weeks in one or more newspapers circulating in the area where such land is situated, and

(b ) notice displayed on or near such land

specifying the time (not being less than six weeks from the date of the first publication of the newspaper advertisement) within which and the manner in which objections thereto can be made.

S-2 Disposal of human remains.

2 Disposal of human remains.

(1) Where any human remains are interred in such land no building shall be erected upon it otherwise than in accordance with section 3 of the principal Act unless:—

(a ) the human remains have been removed and reinterred or cremated in accordance with the provisions of the Schedule to this Act; and

(b ) any tombstones, monuments or memorials commemorating the deceased persons have been dealt with in accordance with those provisions

and the other requirements of the said Schedule have been complied with in respect thereof.

(2) Where it appears to the Secretary of State that the erection of a building on such land or any part of it will not involve the disturbance of human remains, he may on the application by or on behalf of the church or other religious body owning the land or on whose behalf it is held, and (where appropriate) after consultation with the Commission, by order provide for dispensing with the requirements (so far as they concern human remains) of subsection (1) of this section and of the said Schedule, subject to such conditions, restrictions and requirements as he may prescribe.

(3) Any order made under the last foregoing subsection may be amended or revoked by a subsequent order made in like manner and subject to the like conditions on the application by or on behalf of such church or other religious body and if at any time the requirements of subsection (1) of this section and of the said Schedule are complied with in respect of the land, the order shall cease to have effect.

(4) Where an order is made under this section in respect of any land, a copy thereof, certified by or on behalf of the Secretary of State to be a true copy, shall be deposited with the registering authority (within the meaning of the Local Land Charges Act 1975 ) and the order shall be a local land charge.

(5) Where by virtue of any such order human remains are not removed and reinterred or cremated:

(a ) notice shall be given in accordance with the provisions of the said Schedule if a grave will be rendered inaccessible by the erection of a building; and

(b ) the requirements of subsection (1) of this section and of the said Schedule so far as they relate to tombstones, monuments and memorials shall nonetheless apply.

(6) Where there is situated on such land any monument or memorial commemorating a deceased person whose remains are not interred in the land, no building shall be erected upon it unless the monument or memorial has been dealt with in such manner as the church or other religious body owning the land or on whose behalf it is held, or (where appropriate) the Commission, has determined.

(7) The provisions of section 25 of the Burial Act 1857 (prohibition of removal of human remains without the licence of the Secretary of State except in certain cases) shall not apply to a removal carried out in accordance with the provisions of the said Schedule.

S-3 Rights, powers and duties of subsequent owners.

3 Rights, powers and duties of subsequent owners.

3. Where a church or other religious body disposes of an interest in a disused burial ground, then the owner for the time being of that interest shall have the same rights and powers and be subject to the same obligations, restrictions, duties and liabilities conferred or imposed by this Act on that church or other religious body, as if that interest had not been so disposed of.

S-4 Discharge of trusts and restrictions.

4 Discharge of trusts and restrictions.

(1) As from the date specified in the next subsection and subject to subsection (3) of this section the said land shall be freed and discharged from all rights and interests of any person who is a personal representative or relative of any deceased person whose remains are interred in the land and from all other trusts, uses, obligations, disabilities and restrictions whatsoever, insofar as the same relate to use as a burial ground which attached thereto immediately before that date:

Provided that notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection such land shall remain subject to charitable trusts unless or until, and subject to such consents as may from time to time be required by law, it is sold; and in the event of the sale of the whole or any part of the said land any charitable trusts which formerly attached to the land the subject of the sale shall attach to the net proceeds of that sale.

(2) Subsection (1) of this section shall apply as from

(a ) the date when the provisions of section 2 of this Act have been complied with, or

(b ) where no interments have ever taken place in such land the date of the granting of planning permission for the erection of a building thereon on...

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