A PLAN for a crematorium which would have seen see up to 10,000 bodies 'whisked' to a site in Charlton was slammed by Test Valley’s planning committee on Thursday last week.

Councillors heard the case for a new crematorium, access roads and a car park at the former Charlton Nursery, in Hatherden Road, but refused the proposal as it was deemed inappropriate development in the countryside.

The applicant, Pure Cremation Ltd, proposed to carry out “traditional funerals” on site with 1,000 predicted from the Andover area, as well as up to an estimated 10,000 unattended cremations of the deceased coming from across England and Wales a year.

Councillors debated concerns over the lack of local need, traffic, pollution, industrialisation of the countryside and “lack of dignity.”

Councillor Jim Neal said: “I find it quite difficult. For me, there is a lack of dignity. It is a total commercial operation, people being whisked in vans 10,000 a year, locally no more than a 1,000 down that narrow road.

“I find it difficult to support this in its present form.”

Proposals for a crematorium on the former Charlton Nursery land were approved in 2002, however these new plans lodged in October last year were to expand the enterprise.

The crematorium building, which would hold a chapel for funeral services, offices, a cremator hall and storage rooms, was previously given permission for a 472sqm floor area, before the new plan requested a 1,083sqm floor area.

Charlton ward councillor Ian Carr added: “I do have issues with the development, certainly the traffic figures are only talking about car movements to the site, anything should be doubled because everything is a journey.

“The size of this development is three to four times larger than of you would expect for local need. It is industrialisation in the countryside. There is no local need.”

Pure Cremation said the predicted 1,000 cremations a year coming from the Andover area was too low to make it viable in its own right.

However, the site is still likely to get a crematorium built.

A spokesperson added: “Whilst we are disappointed that the enhanced scheme we submitted to the planning authority was refused without legal basis we are committed to building a crematorium in Andover and are pleased that work to construct the existing permitted development will begin in the next few weeks.”