Urgent graveyard extension plans as Cottingley Cemetery in Leeds ‘rapidly approaching full capacity’

A cemetery in south Leeds looks set to expand after emergency plans were submitted to extend its size by about 120 plots.

Leeds City Council says its Cottingley Cemetery site is “rapidly approaching full capacity” and that short term plots were needed at the site.

Local councillors have welcomed the plans for a verge area off Cottingley Drive, bordering the M621, as set out in a “draft emergency extension proposal”.

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A letter from the council’s parks and countryside department stated: “Plans have been developed for an extension of Cottingley Cemetery.

Cottingley Cemetery

"As you may be aware the cemetery is now rapidly approaching being at full capacity and options have been considered for extensions that will allow burials to continue to take place in the short, medium and longer term.

“The change of use will create approximately 852 square metres of burial space. This will address the projected short-term burial needs of the south Leeds community whilst the wider cemetery extension plans develop.”

It added that the council would be working on ground investigations to assess flood risk. The new layout would also need the “slight realignment” of a footpath connecting Cottingley residents to the nearby supermarket, while also removing a “disused teen shelter”.

The plans are supported by local councillors Andrew Scopes, Gohar Almass and Angela Gabriel, who claimed the extension would create a new “welcoming and peaceful space for families to visit their loved ones”.

Coun Gabriel (Lab, Beeston and Holbeck) said: “Ensuring there is enough burial space in the city is a really important job and we are pleased that these plans for a small extension at Cottingley will help to ensure local residents have somewhere nearby where they can bury their relatives.

“It was very important to us that the plans recognised the need for the extension to be a calm and restful place and we think they reflect that.”

A decision is expected by Leeds City Council’s planning department by the end of May.