HAYES MP John McDonnell has called on parliament to review its laws on cemeteries as they come under threat from developers.
Raising the issue in an Early Day Motion (EDM) last week, Mr McDonnell urged 'a swift review of the current law' protecting burial grounds from developments such as roads, railways and new buildings, and preventing the distress to family members caused by the exhumation and displacement of loved ones.
Fellow MPs can support the motion by signing it, and some EDMs with strong backing have subsequently become law.
Mr McDonnell used the example of Cherry Lane cemetery, in Shepiston Lane, Harlington.
There had been fears an access road to serve any third runway at Heathrow Airport would have run straight through this cemetery - a threat that was fought by campaign group Cherry Lane Against Development (CLAD) despite strenuous denials from airport owner BAA that it has any such plans.
But last month, the third runway was dealt a blow when the High Court ruled the public consultation undertaken by the government was flawed .
Mr McDonnell said: "We are now confident that we have fought off the threat to our local cemetery, but we do not want to risk BAA or any other body threatening us again.
"At the same time we want to help others who in the future might also be threatened in this way. That is why we have launched a campaign in parliament to press the government to bring forward proposals for a reform of the legislation to give greater protection and security."
Natasha La Mothe, chairwoman of CLAD, whose father is buried in Cherry Lane, has been at the forefront of the campaign with her mother, Edna, since the group's formation in 2008.
She said: "We are absolutely delighted that John has raised this issue in parliament.
"We have been working alongside various cemetery groups for some time now who have had the same problems, so this won't just be good news for us.
Some of the laws protecting cemeteries were drawn up in Victorian times. What we need is new legislation that reflects what goes on in this day and age.
"At the moment, the sites are protected unless there are 'certain justifiable circumstances', and, as we have seen, this can be interpreted to suit just about anyone.
"It's just so morally wrong that you can bury someone and then have the threat of exhumation hang over you, so we are glad that it is being addressed."