Sandbach Cemetery





The Conservatives introduced a policy of not expanding cemeteries other than Crewe & Macclesfield.

Labour wants to maintain burial provision in Sandbach.

The capacity in Sandbach Cemetery could be expanded to over 20 years with a modest investment. The football pitch should be retained for future expansion as required.






A decade ago, I was told by Cheshire East Council that the football pitch alongside Sandbach cemetery pitch had stopped being hired out to local teams on the grounds that it would be needed for cemetery expansion in the near future.


In July 2018 Cheshire East Council Cabinet voted to

“1        approve the draft Cheshire East Cemeteries Strategy and Cheshire East Cemeteries Regulations for the basis of public consultation; and

 2        delegate authority to the Executive Director – Place, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment to finalise and publish the Final Strategy and Cemetery Regulations, taking account of the representations received during the consultation exercise.”


 The consultation was held in late 2018


Cllr Sam Corcoran responded to the consultation saying, “I am the ward councillor for the ward covering Sandbach cemetery. I have previously understood that the football pitch alongside Sandbach cemetery would at some point be used for cemetery expansion. Indeed, some years ago I was told that the pitch stopped being hired out to local teams on the grounds that it would be needed for cemetery expansion in the near future. However, I cannot find any mention of expansion of Sandbach cemetery in the Cemetery Consultation document. Are there any plans to expand Sandbach cemetery? Is the football pitch still being held for possible future cemetery expansion?”

Sandbach Town Council also responded.

Fiona Bruce MP responded to the consultation and only spoke about Alsager having no cemetery provision.


The consultation responses were never referred back to the Cabinet because authority to ‘finalise and publish’ the cemeteries strategy had been delegated to the Executive Director – Place in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Environment (Cllr Don Stockton). So in March 2019 the new Strategy was adopted through an Officer Decision Record signed by the Executive Director – Place and the Portfolio Holder for Environment. The Strategy was then published on the Council’s website





There has been a lot of misinformation recently about the cemetery. Some rumours that can be quashed:

1.            There are NO plans to sell off the cemetery

2.            There are NO plans to close the cemetery

3.            There are NO plans for housing on the football pitch area – Cheshire East Council now has up-to-date policies, supported by the Sandbach Neighbourhood Plan and a secure 5-year housing land supply, so speculative planning applications can be resisted.

4.            Sandbach Cemetery is NOT full and will not be for several years, so there is time to listen to views of all residents.





The current issue is whether the cemetery should be expanded onto the adjoining football pitch and a petition has been submitted to Cheshire East Council.

The current situation is simple. The previous Conservative administration at Cheshire East Council brought in a new Cemeteries Strategy so that burials would be encouraged to go to Macclesfield and Crewe – no other cemeteries would be expanded. A petition has been submitted asking for that strategy to be reviewed so that Sandbach Cemetery can be extended.

I support the idea of forming a Friends of Sandbach Cemetery group to liaise with Cheshire East Council and Orbitas to help maintain the cemetery.

I accept that one of the complaints has been that there was insufficient public consultation when the decision was taken, before I became Leader of the Council, not to expand Sandbach cemetery. The petition and proposed review of the Cemeteries Strategy will be referred to the Environment and Communities Committee (Cheshire East Council has recently moved to a committee system) and I anticipate that any proposed change in policy will then be subject to formal public consultation.





I have heard various figures for the amount of burial space available in Sandbach cemetery – the official figure is 8 years, but some residents have claimed it is lower than that. I have also been told that there is 16 years of burial Capacity and that could easily be raised to well over 20 years with a bit of work. I am not an expert and I would ask the Environment & Communities Committee to look into what provision for burial space is available in Sandbach Cemetery and confirm what the plans are for increasing that provision. I should add that there is plenty of space for interment of ashes.