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Work begins on crematorium off A38 near Bridgwater
WORK has begun on Sedgemoor's first crematorium, off the A38 between Bridgwater and Burnham.
It is being built on green fields north of Sloway Lane, Stretcholt, along with a new access road.
Developers Westerleigh Group say the facility is badly needed, with Sedgemoor's population set to rise by 19% from 2006 to 2026, and the retirement age bracket rising by 40% over the same period.
Westerleigh said: “These large increases in population, especially those of retirement age, will exert significant pressure on existing services and in particular the crematoria.”
The nearest other crematoria are in Taunton and Weston.
When the £1.8million scheme first came forward three years ago, councillors and villagers raised serious concerns about the impact on the junction with the A38.
Marion Thomas, who leafleted people in the area urging them to oppose the project, said after it was approved: “We are terribly disappointed and sad about the decision.
“Everyone feels deflated.”
However, Westerleigh said there would be fewer than 100 traffic movements per day, and the crematorium would not have a major impact on the A38.
Paul Barber, regional director for Rydon, the Bristol-based construction firm behind the project, said this week the firm aims to be a “considerate contractor”.
He added: “We are pleased to be on site with this new crematorium, which has been designed with real consideration to help minimise its impact on its rural setting. “Over the coming weeks, we expect to make good progress on the first stage of the project starting with challenging access works within the flood plain.”
The project will be completed in September 2013.