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Land bought for new Cannock cemetery

By Kerry Ashdown | Cannock | News | Published:

Land for a new cemetery in Cannock has now been bought by the council alongside a planned crematorium.

The move means the town will be served by two cemeteries and families will no longer have to travel to neighbouring towns to bury loved ones.

Currently there is no burial space available in the town – meaning families have had to use Rugeley’s Stile Cop Cemetery.

There is also currently no crematorium in the district, meaning residents have to travel to at Stafford, Streetly or Bushbury.

But at the beginning of 2019 London-based firm Horizon Cremation was granted permission to build a new crematorium on land off Five Ways Island at Heath Hayes.

It has now been revealed that the new cemetery will be alongside the crematorium, with a shared entrance.

An artist's impression of what the crematorium would look like

Tony McGovern, the council’s managing director, said: “This will put a new cemetery in the south of the district. The council has bought a site just off Five Ways Island off Heath Hayes.

“We have been working with Horizon and have agreed consent for a crematorium in the district. We will deliver the cemetery.

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“Although they are being delivered by different entities we are going to be sharing the same entrance. We will be working together to make sure that works for the public.

"It’s serendipity – we are going to go as a district from only having a cemetery to two and a crematorium. That’s quite a significant additional option for families in the district.

“It is an issue that has been important for some period of time. We have had substantial difficulty in identifying a site for a cemetery. Next year we should be able to see some movement – my understanding is the preparations for the crematorium have already started.

“There is a fixed budget of £1m or thereabouts. We have removed certain elements of the cemetery scheme and left certain elements out to increase the likelihood it will be delivered within the budget.”

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Councillor Maureen Freeman said:”This is excellent news for Cannock Chase – especially around the Cannock area because people would previously have to travel to Stile Cop.

“For many years the capacity has been full in Cannock. We know Pye Green is full.

“There were many discussions about the crematorium. I think everyone knows there is a massive increase in cremation these days.”

Horizon Cremation is set to build a new facility on the site of the former Bleak House coal mine, south of Five Ways Island. The development will also include a ceremony hall, memorial areas, garden of remembrance and parking facilities.

Speaking at the January 2 planning committee meeting Stephen Byfield, director of Horizon Cremation, said: “We want to serve people better at a difficult time and this will be our second crematorium. We know from the experience we have had it has already made a significant difference to the lives of people in that community.

“There is a need for a crematorium in Cannock Chase; there are more people that require cremation. Stafford offer short service times so they can cope with demand and delays are round about six weeks at this time of year.

“While cemeteries are allowed on Green Belt sites crematoria are not. Other sites (in the district) that are not in the Green Belt do not exist. We are confident that this will not cause overriding harm.

“We have been absolutely overwhelmed, by both the level of interest in the proposal and the amount of support we received. I think the fact this major scheme has received only one letter of objection says it all.”

Kerry Ashdown

By Kerry Ashdown
@KerryAshdownLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Staffordshire.

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