Thursday, 10 May 2012


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:
Decision delayed on crematorium
A decision about the lease for a crematorium set to be built in a village has been delayed after a passionate plea.
Leicestershire County Council's cabinet was due to rule on whether to give developer Westerleigh Group a lengthy lease on land near Leicester Road, Countesthorpe, on Tuesday.
If approved, the firm could have then lodged a planning application to build the £3 million crematorium.
However, after a passionate speech by Countesthorpe councillor David Jennings, the decision was delayed to give members a chance to get the views of Blaby District Council.
He told the meeting: "The very thought of a crematorium on this site is frankly appalling. The crematorium would be built in full view of a proposed 168-home estate. "When residents wake up in the morning and look out of their bedroom window, they'll see it. When they go downstairs to make their breakfast, they'll still be able to see it.
"I simply can't overestimate the level of opposition from residents."
Alan Moore, 50, who lives close to the proposed development, said: "I understand that crematoria have to go somewhere, but surely somewhere away from a built-up area would make more sense. I hope the whole thing is dropped."
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "Politicians have finally sat up and started listening to the concerns of residents here.
"There are hundreds of places more suitable for a crematorium then [sic] a village like ours."
The proposed crematorium would include a ceremony room, memorial gardens and landscaping, and hold four to five services a day.
There would also be wash rooms and a viewing area for Sikh ceremonies, which traditionally involve watching the coffin entering the furnace.
The company's commercial director Adrian Britton said yesterday: "I understand councillors need time to consider the issue and I'm confident it will eventually go through."
He has previously said: "The idea is to design the crematorium in a manner which will offer an atmosphere families can grieve in peaceful surroundings. We want to make sure it is sensitively designed."
Developers said the site had been chosen because it is accessible to people living in south Leicestershire.

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