To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, who is responsible for monitoring developers when they are working in graveyards which are still consecrated ground, such as the Calderstones former hospital cemetery in Ribble Valley constituency; and if he will make an assessment of the need for a statutory body to monitor this activity.
The Government has no plans to make such an assessment. The development of former burial grounds, whether or not they are consecrated, is subject to planning regulations and to any conditions placed on the granting of individual planning permissions. Relevant health and safety and environmental legislation would also apply. Monitoring compliance with these requirements is a matter for the relevant local authority in the first instance.
The disturbance of human remains in ground consecrated to the rites of the Church of England must be authorised by the Church of England. For unconsecrated ground, authorisation is required from the Secretary of State for Justice. The unauthorised disturbance of human remains is a criminal offence and, therefore, a matter for the police.