West Herts councils asked to underwrite loan for new crematorium in Hemel Hempstead

Plans for the new facility have already been submitted to Dacorum Borough Council

Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Tuesday, 17th November 2020, 5:08 pm

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

The proposed single-storey crematorium – with remembrance chapel and gardens – would sit within an ‘extensive landscape’ on land adjacent to the new cemetery in Bunkers Park.

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

The proposed single-storey crematorium would sit within an ‘extensive landscape’ on land adjacent to the new cemetery in Bunkers Park

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.

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

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

On Wednesday evening (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.

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 Garston facility is said to deal with around 3200 cremations per year – generating a turnover of £2.25m.

And in May 2018 the chair of the joint committee is said to have approached Dacorum Borough Council to discuss the proposed new crematorium at the Bunkers Park site, off Bedmond Road.

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.