Uttlesford District Council approves plans for new crematorium at Great Chesterford

Uttlesford District Council approves plans for new crematorium at Great Chesterford

by Crematorium Editor Westerleigh News

Plans for a new crematorium to serve the residents of Uttlesford have been approved this week by the district council.

Westerleigh Group has been given planning permission to build off a quiet lane north of Great Chesterford, close to the junction with the A11.

The new facility will relieve congestion at Cambridge, where the 20th busiest crematorium in the UK holds more than 2,600 funerals a year.

Westerleigh said: "This leads to a conveyor belt experience for many bereaved families, with the situation particularly bad during winter, when the death rate is typically 40 per cent higher than the average. This results in delays of two to three weeks in being able to book a time at Cambridge crematorium."

The company concluded many Uttlesford residents did not have access to a crematorium within a 35-minute funeral drive time.

Cllr Julie Redfern, ward member for the Chesterfords, said: "Great Chesterford, like many villages, has recently seen planning granted for a substantial number of new homes which will increase its size dramatically – but this application was something completely different. Both myself, as district councillor, and the parish council appreciate the need in the area for a crematorium.

"This application was about more than just the needs of Great Chesterford but of Uttlesford as a whole, especially Saffron Walden and the surrounding area. I am proud that Great Chesterford supported this application.

"Westerleigh is being as considerate as it can to the surrounding neighbours and appreciates the impact this development will have on the village. I asked if Westerleigh would consider making a contribution to our cycle path, joining Saffron Walden to Cambridge, and this is something they have agreed to look at once details of their application are finalised."

Richard Evans, managing director of Westerleigh Group, said: "People living here do not have a crematorium of their own and only have one realistic choice, which is to travel across to the top of Cambridge, one of the very busiest crematoria in the UK.

"As a result, they often face long delays to get a time for a funeral. When they finally get there, they face a conveyor belt experience, which is not the best way to say goodbye to loved ones."

The new crematorium will hold four services a day, offering a personalised, less hurried service.


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