Corby has just four years of burial space left in its main cemetery, community leaders revealed this week.
And to tackle the problem, they have ordered a project to look at extending Shire Lodge Cemetery by 4.5 acres and building a chapel and crematorium so relatives do not have to travel to Kettering for cremations.
Bosses at Corby Council, which runs the cemetery, have agreed to fund a £15,000 feasibility study into how the issues can be overcome.
A Friends of Shire Lodge Cemetery Group has been set up so that the community is properly represented in the decision-making process.
Cllr Mark Pengelly, lead member for the environment, said: “We were told three years ago that the existing site could last us up to 20 years. But now we think it will only last another four years.
“Part of the problem is that the original graves were very small and contained, but the trend has become for people to have much larger graves with borders and ornaments which means they’ve taken up more room.
“We don’t want to tell people they can’t pay respects to their loved-ones in the way they wish, but it does mean that we are running out of space here.”
While there is a strip of land at the side of the cemetery that runs up to Humber Walk, Cllr Pengelly said he would rather a large site at the back of the cemetery be used for an extension.
He said: “While Corby is not quite considered large enough for its own crematorium, we hope that with other areas such as Uppingham and some of the villages using it then it could be feasible.
“The site we own at the back of the cemetery is big enough but it is in use by a stakeholder that has a 99-year-lease so we are going to negotiate with them to see if we can find a solution.”
It is also hoped that the group can help bosses sensitively tackle several issues that make the cemetery difficult to keep neat and tidy. One of the main problems is the custom in Corby to plant trees on the graves of loved-ones.
Trees that were planted years ago are now pushing headstones over and uprooting graves.