Councils in west Hertfordshire are set to consider the funding of a new £8million crematorium in Hemel Hempstead.

The proposed single-storey crematorium that features a remembrance chapel and gardens, that would sit within an ‘extensive landscape’ on land adjacent to the new cemetery at Bedmond Road by Bunkers Park.

It would mean shorter journey times for mourners in many parts of west Hertfordshire, who currently have to travel to the crematorium in Garston, Watford.

And having an additional crematorium in the area would reduce the time that families have to wait to schedule a funeral for a loved-one.

Watford Observer:

CGI images illustrating the pathway leading to the crematorium

Plans for the new facility have already been submitted to Dacorum Borough Council, by the West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee – which is made-up of representatives from Watford, Three Rivers, St Albans, Hertsmere and Dacorum councils.

Each individual council is to be asked to underwrite a share of the £6 million loan that’s required so the project could go ahead.

Tonight (November 18) the agreement will be considered at meetings of Hertsmere and Dacorum councils. And on Thursday it will be considered by the council at St Albans.

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Watford and Three River councils have already considered and approved the proposed loan agreement.

The West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee already oversees the management and the operation of the existing crematorium in Garston.

The current crematorium opened 1959 and performs over 3,000 crematoriums annually for areas in West Hertfordshire - generating a turnover of £2.25 million.

But due to demands there can be up to three weeks for a funeral during peak periods in winter months due to its limited capacity and having no expansion space.

Watford Observer:

Where the new site would be

West Herts Crematorium Joint Committee say that the demand for crematoriums has risen in recent years and the proportion of those aged 65 and above is predicted to significantly increase in future years.

Watford Observer:

A CGI render of the new chapel

Around £2million of the cost of the new crematorium would be funded from ‘accumulated surpluses’.

The remaining £6million would be a loan, scheduled to be paid back over 20 years and underwritten by the five partner authorities.

It has been proposed that the new facility would operate on the same basis as the existing West Herts Crematorium, with services running Monday to Friday and general enquiries on Saturdays.