Advice on home burial

There is no legal reason why you should not be buried on your own land from an environmental health viewpoint.

Your wishes for burial will need to be outlined in your will or some other legal document which specifies your requirements. To ensure your executors meet your wishes, it is suggested that prior arrangements are made with undertakers who are sympathetic to this type of burial.

You will need to:

  • contact the Environment Agency by emailing or by phoning 0870 850 6506 to check the burial site is not be located close to any water course as there may be a risk of future contamination
  • contact the council’s Development Control team by email for further advice if any monuments are planned at the site as planning permission may be required
  • contact the Land Registry, Weymouth Office to add an informative to the land registry so that a permanent record is available for future purchasers including the precise location of the grave marked on a plan and attached to the deeds of the property

Planning permission is not required for one or two burials as there is unlikely to be a material change of use.

Registering a burial and death

Burials must be registered in accordance with the Registration of Burials Act 1864. Although a private piece of land might not be a burial ground as stated in the Act, it might be regarded as one if a burial takes place on it. It is therefore sensible for the burial to be recorded in accordance with the Act.

The death will need to be registered with the local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages as usual and the certificate returned to them recording the place of burial.

For further information on home burial visit the The Natural Death Centre website.

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