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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 12:49 GMT
Residents oppose crematorium plan
Welford Road Cemetery
Welford Road Cemetery is almost full
Proposals to build a crematorium for Hindus, Jains and Sikhs in an East Midlands city are being opposed by some residents.

Leicester City Council wants to build the crematorium in Beaumont Leys in Leicester. It will be the first of its kind in Western Europe.

The council is warning that the city's cemeteries will be full within years unless new land is taken over.

But some residents and councillors say they have not been consulted about the proposal, which would see the crematorium built on playing fields.

Greenfield site

Gordon Getliffe, a local councillor, says residents are upset at the plans for a crematorium because of possible pollution and increased traffic.

"Why take a greenfield site when there are brownfield sites that are more suitable?" he asked.

The council says one of the city's cemeteries at Saffron Hill has three years of capacity left, but Welford Road Cemetery has only a few spaces left.

It also wants to extend Saffron Hill cemetery to take up ground currently used by Aylestone Park football club.

Councillor John Mugglestone said: "We have a legal duty to bury the dead and we are running out of space in Gilrose Cemetery and Welford Road Cemetery."

Although there is plenty of space for Muslims and Jews in the city, the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities are not properly served, he said.

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