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Crematorium plan fails to charm villagers

One of the country’s largest funeral directors wants to build a new crematorium on farmland in a West Norfolk village.

Dignity UK has set its sights on a four-acre site in Weeting, for a new crematorium, complete with a memory garden and enough parking for more than 100 vehicles.

The company, which also runs St Faith’s Crematorium near Norwich, has submitted a full planning application to Breckland Council for the site on Brandon Road to Breckland Council, a site the council itself identified as possible location.

The design and access statement for the project states it would create a range of new jobs, including opportunities for a site manager, a gardener and a grave digger, with further employment arising in the third year of operation.

However, the application has already received some objection from neighbours to the site, who have questioned the need for it.

Lynn Kingsnorth, of Castle Close, said the proposed site was too near the school and village centre.

Application has already received some objection from neighbours to the site
Application has already received some objection from neighbours to the site

Matthew Reeve, of Angerstein Close, added: “We have a crematorium at Bury St Edmunds. This has been extended recently and more importantly is well away from residential dwellings and schools.”

Ben Shipp, of Cromwell Road, added: “The traffic is bad enough as things are and this will only increase [it].”

A planning statement submitted with the proposals said that Dignity UK had looked at five other potential sites for a crematorium north of Thetford.

It says: “The proposed crematorium will have a range of additional facilities that are not always available at older-style crematoria elsewhere, including a family room, audio and visual services and a range of memorial options.”

The statement adds that the site would feature a larger-than-average cremator and space to seat 100 people in its chapel.

The plans were originally drafted last year, but following a public consultation in September a number of tweaks were made to the plans. These include widening Peppers High Hill Road, close to the site.

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