Digging work for an access road on top of a Manchester Jewish children’s burial ground has been halted following concerns raised the city’s Beth Din.
As part of major sewage infrastructure works begun by United Utilities last week, workmen dug up one side of the tiny 170-year-old Collyhurst burial ground in north Manchester.
Land registry searches have revealed no clear ownership of the grounds, which have been maintained by Manchester City Council after being owned by the Manchester Great Synagogue. The shul buried children from poor Jewish families until the late 19th century.
The Beth Din had pointed out that geophysical surveys might have failed to detect infant human remains which could be unearthed by the works.
A United Utilities representative said: “Our primary concern is that we do not want to disturb any [human] remains. We will do no further works on site until the relevant parties have agreed they are happy for us to use the edge of the cemetery as an access track. Our plan to date has involved minimal excavation [250-600mm]. We are now reviewing this for alternatives.”