Crematorium construction work halt

WORK will not start this year on a controversial new £3million crematorium next to the Seven Hills interchange on the A14, it can be revealed today.

WORK will not start this year on a controversial new £3million crematorium next to the Seven Hills interchange on the A14, it can be revealed today.

The small group of mainly Felixstowe-based investors behind the project, proposed to cope with increasing numbers of cremations, were delighted when Suffolk Coastal District Council agreed to give the project the go-ahead.

But councillors imposed 21 conditions on the consent and many will need to be put in place before building work can start, including extra tree planting at the 17-acre site at Porter's Covert woodland at Nacton.

There is also likely to be archaeological excavations needed because of the importance of Seven Hills as an ancient burial ground.

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Ray Bingham, spokesman for East Suffolk Crematorium, said: “It will be 2007 at the earliest before building work starts on this project.

“The planning permission has only just been granted and the investors are mow trying to take stock of that and decide the next steps.

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“With 21 conditions to go through it is important these are digested and a timetable drawn up so they may be put in place in the right way and the right order.

“For example, reptile and bird surveys can only be done at certain times of the year, archaeological surveys cannot be done overnight, and we need to sit down and look at all these aspects.

“It is unlikely the crematorium will be available until at least 2008 and by then we will be getting close to 2012 when there will be a real need for them.”

Councillors went against officers' advice and their own development plan to allow the project to take place.

They are convinced there will be a need for a new crematorium to serve east Suffolk in the next few years - and say Nacton, with good access from the A14, is as good a place as anywhere.

The need for a new crematorium is not likely to be significant until after 2010 but members of the development control sub committee felt it should be built and commissioned and in operation before that date in readiness.

By 2010, there will be a need for 500 to 750 additional cremations a year and present facilities will not be able to cope.

There were 22 objections to the project with many concerned about increased traffic danger on the A1156.

What do you think of the site for the new crematorium? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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