RESIDENTS have described plans to build a new crematorium next to a busy road as an 'accident waiting to happen.'

Around 85 people met in Fladbury Village Hall to oppose an application by the Westerleigh Group to build a crematorium next to the A44 at Fladbury Cross.

The A44 at Fladbury Cross is a busy 50 miles per hour zone, which resident Derek Boocock, of Fladbury Cross, believes will lead to problems.

He said: "One of the biggest problems would be the traffic, there is already a problem coming out of the village at the junction on Station Road, and this would only increase with a crematorium being built.

"It is a 50 mile an hour zone and you get four tonne trucks regularly driving on it, it is an accident waiting to happen.

"We are not arguing against the need for a crematorium, just that the site is totally unsuitable."

Complainants also had a problem with emissions that would be given off by the crematorium.

Mr Boocock added: "Whilst government legislation says that measures must be in place to abate emissions, these do not stop emissions entirely.

"A Cremator is an industrial incineration plant which would emit not only the usual products of combustion, but also mercury, dioxins and acidic gases."

Steve Bucknell, development director for the crematorium project said: "The site for the crematorium, which is outside the village of Fladbury on the opposite site of the A44, was chosen very carefully and the facility will be of huge benefit to the communities around Pershore and the Vale of Evesham.

"Our plans show how the crematorium would be developed in a beautiful parkland landscape which I am sure will come to be admired by the local community.

"It is natural for people to be concerned at new development proposals, and I would urge them to read the reports submitted with the application.

"Modern crematoria are very strictly regulated and any concerns regarding air pollution are addressed within the Air Quality Assessment.

"This report clearly shows that there is no cause for concern as any emissions are well below the target Environment Assessment Levels.

"Residents can also be assured that there will be no smoke and no odours associated with the crematorium.

"There is a recognised and proven need for a new crematorium to serve the area.

"Even if Cheltenham crematorium redevelopment does go ahead, it will replace the existing two chapels with two new chapels, so there will be no increase in capacity.

"It is, in any event, unacceptable for funeral parties to travel over half an hour in a cortege to Cheltenham, Worcester, Leamington Spa or Redditch.

"Westerleigh’s new crematorium would save family and friends making these long journeys, reducing the amount of traffic on the road network overall."