The project will involve significant tree planting and wetlands to produce a peaceful naturalistic landscape, create new wildlife habitat and provide an open space intended for solace, reflection and wellbeing. The burial ground will also preserve the natural environment long term.
Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, said: “Each year 1,020 Enfield residents either require or prefer burial rather than cremation. Due to a lack of capacity, hundreds of burials are having to be conducted outside of the borough or within private cemeteries. We should be providing our residents with the choice of burying their loved ones close by, in Enfield, not having to travel outside of the borough. The environment will be suitable for all faiths and people of no faith, making it a truly inclusive area and representing the burial needs of all Enfield residents.
Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan
“In addition, we have thought very carefully about how this burial ground will look. It will be a high-quality, natural setting, including burial areas in woodland glades. Importantly, the burial ground will be accessible for walking and other similar leisure activities, effectively creating a beautiful, tranquil and accessible green space for everyone to respectfully enjoy.”
The Council has plans to use sustainable design and materials to make sure a natural aesthetic is maintained throughout, alongside rewilding and planting to enhance the surroundings. Currently, this farmland is not accessible to members of the public. Although it is leased for agricultural use, the area suffers from water logging and poor drainage that limits its agricultural potential. The soil quality will be improved to make the land suitable for a burial ground.
The project was discussed and agreed at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, 13 October and is subject to call in. Concept designs will be produced for public engagement and the project will be subject to planning consent. The intention is for the burial ground to be ready in 2026.
Sloemans Farm is on Whitewebbs Road, EN2
According to research conducted by Enfield Council in 2020, there will be a shortfall in the borough of 15,000 graves and 14,000 ashes internments by 2041 unless new provisions are identified.
The proposed cemetery area has a capacity of 38,000 single graves and is calculated to provide at least 75 years of operations.
The Council’s Bereavement Services team provides on average 350 burials per annum within five existing, “traditional” cemeteries in the borough. These are owned and operated by Enfield Council.
Work to increase capacity at Southgate and Edmonton Cemeteries is ongoing.
Edmonton Cemetery is a long established initially Victorian cemetery. Significant work has been undertaken to increase capacity including areas for grave reuse, construction of vaulted graves and mausolea and most recently an extension into a new area adjacent to the A10.
Southgate Cemetery is undergoing significant works within the existing boundary to increase capacity through construction of vaulted graves and mausolea.