New memorial plaques in Douglas’s memorial garden on Glencrutchery Road will only be in place for 10 years unless renewed at a charge.

The option to renew will now be at a cost of £85 every decade, otherwise Douglas Council will remove them.

The change comes after the authority said it was running out of space on the existing walls in the Borough Cemetery on Glencrutchery Road, with a prediction of 10 years’ time until the wall will be full.

They added that if they continued to sell them with no fixed lifespan then there would be no more room at all in Douglas.

There is currently no room for memorial plaques in the Lawn Cemetery Memorial Garden on Johnny Watterson’s Lane.

A plaque in Douglas currently costs £197.90, and the council have said those purchased until now have no end date and won’t be removed.

A spokesperson for Douglas City Council said: ‘The charge is certainly not about raising money, it’s simply that the site is literally running out of space with no room for expansion.

‘The council wants to be respectful and naturally doesn’t want to turn down any requests.

‘Going forward, plaques will be installed for an initial 10-year period, which is common practice in the UK, and then can be renewed for a further 10 years.’

In comparison, Castletown Town Commissioners don’t offer memorial plaques, but do have a system with memorial benches.

The authority currently offer memorial teak benches for £750 plus vat and similar to Douglas it ensures they will be maintained for a minimum period of 10 years.

If the bench remains in good condition it would not automatically be removed after 10 years.

However, Castletown Commissioners said they have ‘lost contact with many families who have purchased benches historically’. While most of them have been removed for safety reasons they retain all plaques affixed for safe keeping.

Peel Commissioners have a similar policy to that of Castletown, and also don’t offer memorial plaques.

To locate a new bench at a suitable location Peel commissioners use the following criteria: it is installed on a busy walking route (more than 120 persons per hour in the peak one hour period), it can be installed without restricting pedestrian access along a route, it is not visible from more than 100 metres away and it is not located within 100 metres of an existing bench.

Alternatively, existing benches at their current location can be sponsored.

The annual charge for new and existing benches in Peel is £100 per annum, with the duration usually for five or 10 years, but they’re offered first refusal to extend if they wish.

Ramsey Town Commissioners provide the option for a memorial bench for £630 as well as the option to plant a memorial tree in Mooragh Park for £160.

There is no extra fee and no time limit on the benches.