The key environmental issues related to the development of a new cemetery and the documents/information that may be required to ensure that DAERA can provide a substantive response to a planning consultation

Key environmental considerations

The key environmental impacts arising from the development of a new cemetery/graveyard or extensions to such sites include:

Development footprint

  • habitat damage and loss from development footprint
  • species disturbance and/or displacement
  • alterations to surface water hydrology caused by compaction of soils and an increase in the surface area of impermeable (or slowly permeable) surfaces, removal of site vegetation resulting in a subsequent increase in surface runoff which may, in turn, increase the risk of flooding and soil erosion

Run-off contaminated with organic matter and toxic chemicals

  • leaching of embalming fluid, pathogens/microbes and nitrogen compounds into groundwater and discharging into surface waters effecting quality and aquatic ecosystems and fisheries
  • contaminated water / groundwater entering a river system causing degradation of the aquatic environment
  • mobilisation of sediments from excavated/cleared areas and soil stockpiles

Documents/information required

The following documents/information may be required to ensure that DAERA can provide a substantive response:

Development details

Design details

  • annual burial rate/ total number of burials
  • site access arrangements
  • position of all infrastructure
  • site drainage plan (for any roads, parking, paths etc)


  • Ecological e.g.
    • habitat
    • priority/protected species
  • Water features survey
  • Hydrogeological risk assessment

Further Guidance

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