FEARS of corpses exploding and caskets leaking bodily fluids have forced Poole council to reconsider introducing a £60,000 mausoleum to solve the lack of burial space.
The continental-style mausoleum will now only be constructed if there is sufficient demand following a full investigation with funeral directors. Councillors at the meeting of the environment overview and scrutiny committee voiced concerns for moral and ethical reasons, as well as problems over long-term maintenance. Cllr Sally Carpenter said: “I’m against introducing a mausoleum mainly because of the cost of upkeep. As a council we could be responsible for the building and the bodies forever.
“In extreme cases caskets have been known to explode because the bodies turn to liquid and gas when they decompose.”
If constructed it would be one of only two mausoleums currently in operation in the whole of the UK, with the other being in Milton Keynes.
The body is interred above the ground in a tomb and the space can be purchased for around £2,000 for a set period of time.
Chairman of the committee Cllr Tony Trent said: “Mausoleums have presented problems in other countries and in extreme cases bodies have exploded.
“There is an element of urgency regarding this issue though as we are running out of burial space.”
Manager of funeral service Ives and Shand, Shane Watson said: “The problem is about 30 or 40 years down the line your lease on the space runs out.”
The committee unanimously approved the recommendation to re-allocate £101,250 from the remaining £210,000 approved budget for the Moortown site in Canford Magna to the Cemetery and Crematorium Renewal Project.
This will cover the cost of creating additional interment spaces at the cemeteries in Branksome, Parkstone and Poole as the Canford Magna site was deemed “unsuitable”.