Burial on Private Land

Home Burials and Burials on Private Land

Home burials on private land are becoming increasingly popular. The service surrounding the burial can be unique and personal, fully reflecting the wishes of the deceased or the family.

There is no need to appoint a funeral director, although most people choose to use one for some of the more regulated requirements, such as storing the body or legal paperwork. There is also no need for the land to be consecrated.

Statutory and Legal Requirements for a Home Burial

The death needs to be registered with the local Register of Births and Deaths, for which a Doctor’s certificate is required.

There are a number of statutory requirements for home burials, particularly around the prevention of groundwater pollution.

It is advisable to contact the local council to talk to their Environmental Health Department as they will need to check that there is no risk to public health.

If you are the owner of the land, you will need to check the deeds in case there is a restrictive covenant preventing the burial of human remains. If the property is mortgaged the owner also needs to check the contract in case it is necessary to get the lender’s permission.

Planning permission is only required if there is going to be a permanent memorial or if the burial site constitutes a change of use (for example, if there are going to be a number of graves on the land).

The Home Funeral Network offers support, education and guidance for those organising a home-based, family led funeral.

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