A NEW multi-million pound crematorium is being proposed for the outskirts of Havant.
The Southern Co-operative is proposing to build the state-of-the-art facility off Bartons Road to take the strain off Portchester Crematorium – the busiest crematorium in England.
The new building would measure about 4,200 sq ft, include an environmentally-friendly green roof, and be surrounded by a tranquil memorial garden, a wildflower meadow and a copse for mourners to plant trees for loved ones.
The site, close to Spire Hospital, is currently grazing land and is surrounded by woodland on three sides.
A new access road would be built.
Mark Smith, chief executive of The Southern Co-operative, said: ‘We have been helping people in this area with funeral and related services for more than 75 years. We understand how much the area needs a new crematorium.
‘Grieving families are having to travel further, and can face congestion at the facilities. Therefore we have been looking at ways to improve the situation for local people.
‘We believe we have found a site that will deliver an improved service to bereaved families whilst having a minimal impact on residents and the environment.
‘No-one should have to rush through important services and we believe what we propose will allow local people to celebrate the life of loved ones as they would wish.’
The area is part of an ancient forest and Mr Smith stressed that no trees would be chopped down for the development.
He said the development would be discreetly set back from the road.
David Guest, deputy leader of Havant council, said: ‘We need crematoria. If the existing facilities are inadequate given the rising need then someone has to do something somewhere.
‘I am very open to proposals coming forward, but it would need to be in the right place.’
A planning application is set to be submitted by late October to Havant Borough Council and East Hampshire District Council as the site is on the authorities’ borders.
The crematorium would take up to a year to build.
The plans go on show at a public consultation taking place at Havant and Waterlooville Football Club between 10am and 8pm on September 20 and 21.