Opposition to plans for crematorium near village

An image of the side view of the chapel at the proposed crematorium
An image of the side view of the chapel at the proposed crematorium

Wealden District Council’s plans for the first crematorium in the District, on a site near Horam, have met opposition.

The council had this week received 22 letters against the scheme, earmarked for land at Horeham Flat Farm, Chiddingly Road, with access onto the A267.

Chiddingly Parish Council members expressed concerns about its location and subsequent impact on the village’s narrow lanes. They have asked for specific signage saying there is no overflow parking or vehicular access from Nash Street.

One objector said, “However pleasant modern design can be, this site is surely Milton Keynes landing in the middle of a field near a small Sussex village surrounded by fields. The design of a modern site with 136 cars is just staggering.”

Another cites potential danger to schoolchildren crossing the A267, as heavier traffic makes it more hazardous. Fears focus on increased pressure on an ‘already undersized road’ serving new homes on the Merrydown site, in Horebeech Lane and next to The May Garland pub.

The council said its planning application includes improvements to the A267 to maintain the free flow of traffic as well as extensive on-site parking.

Council Leader Cllr Bob Standley said, “One of our key aims is to allow an hour for every service so that loved ones can pay their respects in a proper manner.

“By giving a longer time for each service, than many other crematoria, we are confident that there will be a more relaxed atmosphere at what is a difficult time for families.

“Through an understanding of modern design, we believe the Wealden crematorium will provide a dignified, compassionate facility which will serve people of all faiths and none.

“The Chapel and Flower Court will lead on to a landscaped Garden of Remembrance to provide a last resting place for the scattering of ashes for those who wish to take up this option. A Book of Remembrance, housed in an antechamber to the Chapel, will ensure they are not forgotten.”

Discussions with various faith groups and local undertakers have helped create the design for the new Wealden facility.

As part of the planning process, provisions are being put forward for conserving and managing the farmland around the crematorium so that the facility will be hidden in the landscape.

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