Fifers will have no place to bury their dead within 80 years unless action is taken.
New figures have revealed ten of the region’s cemeteries will be full by the end of the decade.
And a further seven will be at capacity within 10 to 20 years.
Fife Council is now considering how to deal with the growing pressures on cemetery provision and the public will be asked for their views.
If nothing is done, only Cupar will have any lairs by 2064.
And the Dunfermline area will have no burial spots by 2047.
One of the options is to have just one new cemetery for the whole of Fife
Our interactive maps reveal which cemeteries are filling up.
And we look at the five options being considered to solve the issue.
The council’s bereavement services manager Liz Murphy said: “There are growing pressures on the provision of cemeteries in Fife.
“And to help address these challenges, it is proposed that bereavement services consult on the development of a future cemetery strategy.”
900 burials a year in Fife
There were fears some families may not be able to lay loved ones to rest in their home towns.
And the council proposed reclaiming unused lairs from the public in a bid to extend the lives of some burial grounds.
Fresh analysis shows Kinghorn is already at capacity and can offer no more lairs.
Meanwhile, Tulliallan, Carnbee and Kingsbarns each have just one lair left and will be full within a year.
And the 18 remaining plots at Scoonie Cemetery in Leven are expected to be filled by 2025.
While there has been a gradual move towards cremation over the last 20 years, there are still approximately 900 burials each year in Fife.
And a further 400 sets of cremated remains are interred.
Around a third of these burials require a new lair.
Ms Murphy says the council has a legal responsibility to provide an appropriate service to the bereaved.
And it has set aside around £6.7 million to address the issue.
In particular, a solution is needed for Glenrothes which is served by Leslie Cemetery and St Drostans in Markinch.
Both of these are expected to be full within 10 to 20 years.
“This premise can also be applied to the larger, more established town areas of Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline where the existing cemeteries are also in the 10-20 year capacity bracket…with no further provision identified to serve these growing communities,” Ms Murphy said.
The five options to improve capacity at Fife cemeteries
Fife Council has come up with five options which will be taken to the public next year.
- Do nothing – this will mean mourners have to travel longer distances as local cemeteries become full and all cemetery space will be used by 2100.
- Reimagine current provision – will extend the lifespan of some cemeteries and preserve family links but limited land availability means it won’t be an option everywhere.
- Extend current provision – similar to option two but will not be an option at all sites.
- One site to replace several existing cemeteries – a longer term solution to serve a wider population but means some mourners will have to travel further.
- One site for the whole of Fife – will cost less than providing several new cemeteries but it’s not known how it will be received by the public.
Ms Murphy said the council would need to consider what is an acceptable distance for the bereaved to travel.
Local ethnic and religious requirements must also be taken into account.
A public consultation is likely to run over several months during 2022.