Opinion: A crematorium for Maldon and Dengie residents is long overdue

  Posted: 15.10.21 at 10:21 by Judy Lea

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The following is a letter from Maldon resident Judy Lea on the plans for a new crematorium in Woodham Mortimer, by developer Elegy, and the public exhibition on the proposal which took place this week.

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I was able to get to the exhibition yesterday and I’m pleased by the apparent expertise and experience of the people involved, the thought that had already been put into certain considerations such as landscaping and the evidence that already some suggested design changes were being taken on board, such as the extra toilets.

It’s long overdue for Maldon and Dengie residents to have a more readily available crematorium both in terms of access and timing, so I thoroughly support this proposal in principle.

As for specific details I was pleased to note the following:

The plans do seem to really provide for a discreet place in a natural setting. I hadn’t appreciated how much the land there falls from the road, allowing the buildings to settle into the landscape.

Also, I lived very near a crematorium 30 years ago and it’s clear from talking to the staff that the technology has moved on a lot from those days so that only a heat haze will be emitted, not fumes. The strictures of an annual license also have to be observed.

Although I’m only an occasional supporter of the church, the proposal clearly provides a means for the church to be brought back more into the village, with access to proper additional parking rather than dodging around on the grass and unmade verges. This will presumably be useful for fundraising events and special services. This is further reinforced by greater safety crossing the road to access not only the church but also the bus stops - essential after the fatality last year along that stretch.

I was also delighted that the lonely memorial to a local philanthropist will be restored and the setting improved with a small avenue of trees.

My only quibble perhaps was whether the chapel itself was large enough at only 100 seating capacity, even with the expansion lobby. I understand the wish to create an intimate space but hope greater flexibility could be designed within a slightly larger area?

However, this quibble alone should not of itself be used to block the proposal going forward for approval - we really do need this.

So often, and even within the last week, I come across a grieving family whose distress is needlessly exacerbated by the fact they cannot deal with the body left behind in a timely and respectful manner. Then they also have to cope with the logistical nightmare of getting family and friends to a remote cremation, at a long distance from the hospitality of the wake at their homes or at a known local venue.

I sincerely hope that Maldon District Council members and staff will see their way to a considered but swift approval and that it’s built before our own time comes!

Kind regards,
Judy Lea

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