A CONTINENTAL style mausoleum could help solve the problem of Poole’s lack of burial space.

That is one idea going before Borough of Poole’s environment overview and scrutiny committee today.

The council is likely to abandon proposals to build a new cemetery jointly with Bournemouth Council at the Moortown site in Magna Road, due to the expense and because the site is subject to flooding, difficult to access and has no facilities.

But the town’s cemeteries, Poole, Parkstone and Branksome, are fairly full and the town urgently needs to find space. An average of 50 people a year are buried in the town compared with 2,300 cremations.

“We have gone back and looked at our existing cemeteries,” said Tim Martin, head of legal and democratic services.

“There is a lot of wasted space.”

By removing some of the access roads, parking areas and paths, a further 705 spaces could be provided across the three, at a cost of £101,250.

“I don’t believe there will be any loss of access,” he said. There would be no need to disturb existing graves and no intention of re-using any older graves. Some of the earliest burials in Poole Cemetery are more than 150 years-old.

Councillors will also be asked to recommend to cabinet that a glade at Poole Crematorium at Gravel Hill is also used for burials.

“This could provide another 400 spaces, while a larger area, which would require terracing, could be used in future.

“I don’t think either of these are particularly controversial,” he said.

However, councillors will also be asked to authorise a feasibility study to provide a mausoleum in the disused chapel at Poole Cemetery.

A wall, in which coffins are kept, operates at Milton Keynes crematorium where relatives are charged £6,000 for 30 years rental.

“This would be a way of bringing these cemetery chapels back into use and making them pay for themselves,” he added.