This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Anger at crematorium plan
Scores of residents visited an exhibition to learn about plans to build a crematorium near their homes.
Developer Westerleigh Group is hoping to submit a planning application at the end of March for a crematorium in Leicester Road, Countesthorpe.
The £3 million development was unveiled at Countesthorpe village hall on Thursday and yesterday. Residents were given a chance to ask questions about the project.
If approved by Blaby District Council, the crematorium would be built next to a proposed 168-home estate by Redrow Homes, and residents fear it will further increase traffic along Leicester Road.
Liz Swift, who lives within a few hundred yards of the proposed site, said: "My first reaction was shock and horror.
"We've lived here for 28 years and there's been six fatalities on Leicester Road in that time – I don't think anything which brings more cars is a good idea.
"First, there's the new estate being built at the top of the road and now this, we're just concerned about the traffic."
Kenneth Warner, 86, who has lived in the village since he was three, said: "I don't understand why they're building it there, it should be closer towards Wigston, where there are more people.
"I don't have a problem with it, but it will cause a lot more congestion on the roads, we're busy enough as it is. Station Road looks like a motorway during rush-hour."
Robert Jelves, 68, said: "News of the crematorium is going round the village like wildfire, a lot of people are concerned."
The developer said that the majority of cars going in and out of the site would not be within rush hour times.
Managing director of Westerleigh Group Richard Evans said: "It's going to be a quiet, tranquil place, which is set back from the road and very discreet.
"There's been a need for something like this for a long, long time."Leicester is one of the busiest places in the country for cremations and currently has two crematoria which are holding about 14 services a day between them.
"The Countesthorpe site would hold about five cremations a day."
Mr Evans said the Countesthorpe site could deal with up to 1,100 to 1,300 cremations a year. He said: "We estimate that about 200 will come from the southern wards of the city and the majority will be from this area.
"We foresee that most people will come from around this area, but we want to make it open and available for everybody."
Under the proposals, the facade of the main building will include an interchangeable religious symbol, which can be switched to represent the faith of the service.
There will also be wash rooms and a viewing area for Sikh ceremonies, which traditionally involve watching the coffin entering the furnace.