High-rise hereafter

17.02.11: PROTESTERS chanted outside Croydon cemetery yesterday, angry at plans to exhume 200 bodies to make way for a high-rise mausoleum.

The decision comes on the heels of recommendations made in the 2008 Dead Citizens' Charter, which stressed the need to urgently reduce overcrowding in cemeteries.

Almost 50% of inner-city cemeteries have been forced to close over the past decade. This has followed the introduction of anti-pollution legislation, which made cremations illegal in many areas of Britain.

Recycling graveyard plots by exhuming the remains and reinterring them at lower depths and reducing leaseholds on plots from 50-year to 10-year terms have been explored, but surveys reveal that 70% of the general public favour the 3,500-body, 20-storey mausoleum initiative.

In a world first, the Croydon mausoleum also plans to introduce its own memorialisation software program called Records.

This gives the bereaved access to a deceased relative's past and includes interactive family trees, photo-albums, biographies and audiovisuals for use on home computers. SA

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