Plans for crematorium in Little Dunmow unveiled

PUBLISHED: 08:45 11 January 2019

A proposal for how the building will look. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A proposal for how the building will look. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Archant

A crematorium, which hopes to hold more than 1,000 cremations a year, could be built near Dunmow under plans submitted to the district council.

The application for a new crematorium has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council. Picture: ARCHANTThe application for a new crematorium has been submitted to Uttlesford District Council. Picture: ARCHANT

The plans, put forward by funeral director Michael Walsh, predict an average of four services a day at the facility, which would be built at Blatches Farm, in Little Dunmow, off the A120.

The crematorium would “reduce pressure on other crematoriums which often struggle to cope with demand”, and attract people from Bishop’s Stortford, Braintree and Saffron Walden according to a document in support of the application.

The document, prepared on behalf of Michael J Walsh Funeral Directors, reads: “The Walsh family have been working in the Dunmow area funeral business for more than 100 years. The industry has changed greatly over the years but especially over the last 10 years.

“A lot of small funeral directors have gone and more people choose cremation as an option. Church graveyard space is limited, forcing stricter rules concerning who can be buried. A funeral used to be carried out in less than a week. Now three weeks has become the norm. The costs have risen at a fast pace; especially cremation costs which are beyond our control.”

Going on, the statement said: “So few crematoriums have been built over the years; it would need a lot more than one even in this area to make waiting times reduce all of the year.”

The closest crematorium to Blatches Farm is 11.6 miles away, in Braintree, documents suggest.

Some 65 car parking spaces will serve the crematorium, with three spaces for disabled people and an overspill car park, according to a transport statement.

The crematorium could hold a service every two hours, which will avoid mourners arriving before a proceeding service has finished, therefore reducing the demand for car parking, the transport statement explains.

About 100 people would be “comfortably accommodated” in the chapel and a small garden area will be provided as an enclosed retreat for visitors.

A small wooded area next to Blatches Farm would also be a space for “retreat and contemplation”.

Uttlesford District Council said it would aim to determine the application before February 25.

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