Arlesey couple fight proposals to build funeral directors next door to their home

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 14:03 03 September 2018

Steve and Sonia Hamilton from Arlesey are fighting against proposals to build a funeral directors next door to their home in Lyton Avenue. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Hamilton

Steve and Sonia Hamilton from Arlesey are fighting against proposals to build a funeral directors next door to their home in Lyton Avenue. Picture: Courtesy of Steve Hamilton

Archant

An Arlesey couple are growing concerned about proposals to turn the house next door into a funeral directors - and are now using their IVF funds to pay for lawyers.

Steve Hamilton and his wife Sonia were left under “immense stress” after learning a planning application had been submitted to Central Bedfordshire Council to turn the house next door – a semi-detatched property in Lynton Avenue – into a funeral home.

Steve told the Comet: “The mortuary will share the same wall as my living room and kitchen, and the chapel of rest will be directly below my autistic 10-year-old son’s bedroom.

“This means if this proposal were allowed to happen, my son – who lives with me every other weekend – would not be able to stay as it would freak him out.

“I think any child even without autism would struggle to sleep next to a funeral parlour, let alone six feet away from where they store the dead bodies. It would totally destroy my relationship with him.

“My wife, who has chronic juvenile arthritis in all her joints since the age of five, hasn’t stopped crying since we were informed of the application.

“As you can imagine, this is causing her immense stress that is now causing her condition to get significantly worse. I am worried sick and seeing my wife in tears just kills me.

“We have no issues with the business and as a community would be very happy to support them as best we can. Our objection is the location they have chosen.”

The neighbours consultation has received 25 responses in favour of the proposal, and 26 against.

Benedict Funeral Directors owner Peter Cremin – who applied for planning permission – said that due to the positioning of the house, it is unlikely Mr Hamilton and his family would be able to see anything coming in or out of the house, and the vans would drop the cadavers straight into the building.

He said: “If you can’t hear it, you can’t see it and you can’t smell it, there isn’t a problem.

“It’s not the dead you want to be frightened of, it’s the living.

“The vans will drive into the building and they will see absolutely nothing. Lynton Avenue is at a right angle and the entrance will be coming in from the High Street.

“The whole industrial estate where we are based now is going to be bulldozed to make way for a residential development.

“I accept that Mr Hamilton has his own concerns, but that’s why the council has experts there who have given guidelines to protect neighbours.”

To view the planning application go to centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/planning-register and search 18/03008.

A meeting is being held at Arlesey Town Hall tomorrow from 7pm to discuss the plans.

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