Published Friday, 16th October 2020

The Council is proposing to build a crematorium and memorial garden in the borough to provide a more local service for bereaved families.

It follows research undertaken last year that showed there is a clear need. Since then, the Council has been carrying out feasibility studies, including work to identify a potential site.

Currently, Reigate & Banstead residents who wish their loved ones to be cremated must journey to a facility out of the borough, usually to Leatherhead, Crawley or Croydon. The lack of local provision means that bereaved families can experience long wait times for services elsewhere, as well as difficulties finding a convenient service time, due to the demand at those facilities.

CGI image showing what the finished crematorium would look like in landscaped groundsTranquil and accessible

A suitable site has been identified in Woodhatch, off Woodhatch Road, in a semi-rural location that offers a tranquil, quiet and accessible space to enable an appropriate experience for mourners, while also minimising the impact on neighbours.

Plans are being developed for a modern, discreet, low profile crematorium, set in an attractively landscaped garden of remembrance that complements the surrounding landscape.

High quality facility, closer to home

Cllr Tim Archer, Executive Member for Investment and Companies, said: “We are always looking for different ways to improve services for our residents and have identified a clear need for a crematorium in the centre of the borough so that bereaved families can memorialise their loved ones in an appropriate setting closer to home, at what is an upsetting time.

“We want to provide a high-quality facility that will provide exceptional service and a dignified means by which people can remember their loved ones. The introduction of this new service would be a natural extension and enhancement of the Council’s existing burial bereavement service.

“The Council plans to deliver the facility itself so we have control over its design and running, including service quality, timings, price and management of the site. Our intention is to offer services that are appropriately staggered to give mourners more time to pay their respects.

“The design will take account of stringent environmental safeguards, provide appropriate levels of car parking space and include arrangements to manage traffic from visitors to the site.

“Making sure the design of the building and site is environmentally friendly will also be fundamental to our proposals, for example through carbon off-setting, new technologies and biodiverse planting and landscaping.

"We would now like to hear from the local community, religious and humanist organisations and funeral directors on their experiences of the current situation and on what they would like to see as part of our proposals, prior to us submitting a planning application.”

Currently, one in four people who pass away in the borough opt for burial, meaning three in four people must leave the borough to be cremated and their loved ones must travel further afield than is ideal. With a growing and ageing population, these figures are predicted to continue to rise.

Share your views

To share your views, please email [email protected], or for those without internet acces, write to Woodhatch Feedback, Greenspaces, Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Town Hall, Castlefield Road, Reigate RH2 0SH by Sunday 8 November 2020.

The Council is also planning an online consultation event on Thursday 29 October at 6.30pm via Zoom (in light of Covid-19 restrictions preventing face to face engagement). It will provide an opportunity to hear from the Design Team about the proposed development and to ask questions. For details of how to take part see our Proposal to provide a local crematorium page.

The Council is writing to residents and businesses near the site.