The Government is to allow graves to be re-used to tackle overcrowding in cemeteries, it has been announced. Under the move, local councils will be able to permit doubling-up on burial sites after 100 years unless families object. Pressure on space in graveyards has long been a cause of concern. Despite a rise in the number of cremations, around 150,000 people are buried every year. Burial grounds say they will be completely full within the next three decades, and the property boom has driven up the price of plots further. In a written statement to MPs, Justice Minister Harriet Harman said: "The Government is now satisfied that it would be right to enable graves to be re-used in this way, subject to appropriate safeguards. "For example, no grave should normally be re-used unless the last burial took place at least 100 years before. "And families should have the opportunity to defer re-use of their relatives' graves for at least another generation." Powers allowing local authorities to re-use their plots are to be granted under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994, according to Ms Harman. She said the option had received "widespread support" during a consultation process which has been running since 2004. Apart from relieving pressure on land it should encourage better maintenance of historic burial sites, Ms Harman added.