ADVANCE sales of burial plots and factoring services for private housing developments are among money-making schemes being considered by East Lothian Council.

The council is looking at ways to bring in extra revenue in the next three years by capitalising on its services and the influx of new housing in the county.

Burial plots in two new cemeteries will be made available for advance sales as the council re-opens the pre-sale of lairs in Dunbar and Prestonpans, where capacity issues have seen the practice suspended in recent years. New housing developments in the towns have seen plans put forward for new graveyards to cope with the increasing populations.

In Prestonpans, a proposed cemetery is included with plans to build 165 houses at Dolphingstone Farm; while in Dunbar plans for a new graveyard at Newtonlees have been approved by the council.

A council spokesperson said advance sales were withdrawn in the towns to ensure lairs were available for immediate need as they ran out of space.

However, he confirmed: “It is expected that, as the new provision opens in Prestonpans and Dunbar, we will be in a position to process requests. As further new sites are developed, it is anticipated this option will become more widely available.”

It is anticipated the move will bring an additional £10,000 in revenue for the local authority in the next financial year as people queue up to book plots in their  home towns.

The move is one of a number of ventures which have been given the go-ahead in the council’s budget plans for the next three years to maximise income.

It also includes plans to bid to take over factoring contracts for landscaping in new housing developments and offer to install play equipment and areas in the same estates.

The local authority is looking to capitalise on the influx of housing into the county, which is seeing up to 10,000 new homes being built across its communities.

It hopes that it can compete with private factoring firms to take on responsibility for public areas within new housing estates, which developers traditionally hand on to independent factors.

And it has budgeted a potential income of up to £80,000 by providing the commercial service over the next three years, as well as a further £30,000 by offering to install play areas in the new developments.

The council said it was seeking to develop “commercial opportunities across all services”.

The spokesman said: “Given the county’s growth agenda, these are areas that we intend to explore.”