AN AMBITIOUS plan to build a crematorium in Fladbury to serve Pershore and the Vale of Evesham has been given the go ahead by council chiefs.
Wychavon District Council gave consent for the new crematorium at Fladbury Cross on the A44 by a majority of 12 votes to two, at a planning meeting last Thursday.
Westerleigh Group, one of the country’s leading developers of crematoria, will begin construction later this year with the hope of opening the crematorium as early as autumn 2018.
Once built, the new facility will stage up to 1,000 funerals per year, averaging around four per day, giving Vale residents more local choice.
The crematorium will also ease pressures on crematoria in Worcester and Redditch, which are both significantly busier than the average single chapel crematorium, being 33 per cent and 23 per cent busier respectively. The lack of capacity at the these crematoria often causes delays of three weeks in being able to book a time for a funeral, and further distress is suffered by families pressurised into limiting the length of funeral services to make way for other funeral parties.
The new crematorium will reduce these waiting times, especially during winter months, when the death rate is higher – which was highlighted by local funeral directors as being a particular problem.
Westerleigh Group estimates 70,000 people in the Wychavon district will, for the first time, have a crematorium they can reach in under half an hour.
The majority of councillors welcomed the plans for the new crematorium, however there concerns raised on the impact the crematorium would have on traffic on the A44 and in Fladbury village. Coun Richard Lasota said: “You can’t ignore residents concerns. You can’t say there won’t be cars coming through the village (Fladbury) as there will be cars coming through it and probably back into the village afterwards, especially if they are going to use the local facilities for the wake and everything else.
“We can’t ignore there will be a traffic problem. It’s on a road which has a 50mph speed limit, so there’s going to be a problem getting into the entrance.
“There’s problems at the crossroads too, but if we could slow down the speed limit to 40mph that would be a great help. The A44 is a fast moving road and traffic certainly will need to slow down.” Speaking after the meeting Steve Bucknell, development director at Westerleigh Group, said: “We’re pleased planning permission has been granted, and that we can proceed to provide this much-needed facility to serve communities in Wychavon and the Vale of Evesham.
“We hope this will become a treasured community facility and we look forward to setting up a liaison group with Fladbury Parish Council, as suggested by local councillors, to ensure we work closely together.”
Post From: Evesham Observer