Councillors approve bid for Waveney crematorium
- Credit: Archant
Plans to build a memorial park and crematorium on land at Ellough have been given the go-ahead.
Oxfordshire-based Memoria Ltd have been looking for a site for the past eight years and said the new Waveney Memorial Park would address the existing gap in service for around 120,000 people.
The memorial park, which will include gardens of remembrance, a car park, access road, chapel and other buildings used for cremation services, will be built on land next to the B1127 at Warrens Lane and Benacre Road.
The application was approved at Waveney District Council's development control committee on Tuesday night.
Graham Elliott, district councillor for Beccles north who was at the meeting, said: 'We felt there was a need for it to serve rural Waveney and south Lowestoft because it quite a trek to Gorleston or Norwich.
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'The location is not perfect because it is a greenfield site and ideally it would be built on a brownfield site, but we know that they have looked at a lot of sites. On balance the need for it was sufficient to justify the use of the site.'
The memorial park is expected to reduce the distance travelled by funeral vehicles by 180,000 miles a year, with the closest existing crematorium 20 miles away in Gorleston.
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Jamieson Hodgson, business development director for Memoria Ltd, said: 'We are obviously delighted to have secured a planning consent to build a dedicated memorial park for Waveney. We started looking for sites back in 2006, so this decision has been eight years in the making.
'We believe that we have found the best site to service the identified need for the crematorium and we will be pleased to offer both traditional and natural burial options as well.
'We have received support from the local funeral directors who have emphasised that a facility in Waveney is long overdue with most bereaved families having to travel well over 30 minutes to get to their nearest crematorium at present.
'Memoria is a small family-run operator of crematoria and memorial parks in the UK and we are happy to have the opportunity to build and operate a first rate facility in Waveney that is a credit not only to us but to everyone connected with the area.
'We will look to start discharging the pre-commencement planning conditions in the next couple of months with a view to starting on-site in the autumn. The build period is around 10 months, so we should be ready to open by the autumn of next year.'
The garden area will be split into formal and informal parts with water features, such as a pond, while the access on Warren Lane will be surrounded by traditional timber field gates and wrought iron fencing.
Mr Elliott said the committee has asked for the company to liaise with Suffolk County Council about reducing the speed limit on Benacre Road from 60mph to 40mph to make access to the site safer, and has also asked whether a bus stop and lay-by could be built near the site to allow a new bus route from Southwold to Norwich to stop at the crematorium.
The plan also received support from members of Shadingfield, Sotterley, Willingham and Ellough Parish Council.