Views sought on plan for multi-faith crematorium
A new multi-faith crematorium has been proposed for south Leicestershire.
Developers Westerleigh Group have not yet submitted plans to Blaby District Council, but will meet with residents tomorrow and on Friday to discuss the scheme.
The proposed site in Leicester Road, Countesthorpe, will include a ceremony room, memorial gardens and landscaping.
The £3 million development is being unveiled at two public consultations at Countesthorpe village hall, in Station Road.
The company's commercial director Adrian Britton said: "Leicestershire is the worst served county in the country for crematoria – there are just two which serve very large numbers and are being stretched."
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.
Mr Britton said: "The idea is to design the crematorium in a manner which will offer an atmosphere in which families can grieve in peaceful surroundings.
"We also want to make sure it is sensitively designed to complement the rural surroundings, and we are holding the exhibition to get feedback before submitting our plans."
The developers said the low-profile building would be screened from the road and the village would benefit from additional landscaping and trees.
A spokesman for Countesthorpe Parish Council said: "We're meeting with the developers tomorrow and talking about the plans then, but we don't know what's involved so don't have an opinion yet.
"We'll be listening to residents and will help anyway we can as part of the consultation process – but there hasn't been a planning application submitted yet so it's very early days."
There are two crematoria in the city and county – one at Gilroes cemetery, in Leicester, and the other in Loughborough.
Developers say the site has been chosen because it is accessible to people living in Blaby, south Leicester and neighbouring districts.They expect to hold four to five services a day.
All services will be coordinated with local funeral directors.Colin Moore, adviser at The Funeral Consultancy, in Bullhead Street, Wigston, welcomed the proposals for the crematorium.
Mr Moore, who arranges bespoke funerals as well as bereavement counselling, said: "I believe it's needed, from the funeral directors I talk to. Cremations are becoming much more popular than traditional burials."
The public exhibition will take place between 3pm and 6pm tomorrow , and 9am and 1pm on Friday.