Building work on a crematorium in Wellingborough could start next spring if new plans are approved by the council’s planning committee.
The £5.5m project was given outline permission in December 2012 and now the detailed plans, covering the design, layout and access, have been submitted and will be considered in January.
If approved, work could begin on the 11-acre site near Great Doddington in the spring, with the crematorium up and running the following year.
The idea of a crematorium in the borough was first discussed back in 2011. A group of seven councillors was given the task of researching the project, including assessing public demand, talking to experts, and visiting other crematoria. Once the site was purchased and outline permission granted, the councillors were consulted on the design and facilities before plans were drawn up and submitted.
Councillor Peter Morrall, who chaired the working party, said: “We’ve put a lot of work into this project and gone into considerable detail, to make sure we get it right. We’ve consulted with the community and spoken to funeral directors and other experts to help us understand what the public wants and to ensure the building works and a first-rate service is provided.
“We’re really pleased with the final plans. We’re looking at a modern building with the latest equipment, but blending into the landscape and set in gardens and woodland. There will be beautiful views over the valley from the room where mourners will gather to remember their loved ones, and there will be enough space for larger groups of mourners.
“People in the borough and surrounding areas sometimes have to wait weeks for a funeral at the moment. If the plans are approved we can start work on an excellent facility that will really benefit local people.”
The cost of the project – around £1.3m for the land and £4.2m for the build – is being paid for out of the council’s capital budget, which is money in the bank saved for large projects that benefit the community. Capital funds can’t by law be used for the running of day-to-day services, but any income generated from capital projects can help fund related services.
Cllr Morrall added: “We set aside the capital budgets for this project as it’s a really valuable and much-needed service, but it will also bring in an income. This can be used to help fund the whole of the council’s cemetery and burial services so that budgets can be freed up to provide other services in the borough.”
The crematorium will be built by construction company Wates, who have committed to using local craftsmen as much as possible.