A new crematorium to serve the residents of Uttlesford has opened in Great Chesterford.
The Cam Valley Crematorium has been set “discreetly into the natural contours of the land” in Field Farm Drive, just off the A11.
The crematorium chapel seats 100 people with large standing areas to accommodate larger funerals.
The facility was granted planning permission by Uttlesford District Council in April 2016.
The operator, Westerleigh Group, manages 30 crematoria around the UK and expects the new Great Chesterford facility to hold 4-5 funerals daily. There is parking for up to 74 cars and the facility is set amid large areas of lawns and planting.
A spokesman for Westerleigh Group said: “It is light and airy, offering long views across the countryside beyond and has been equipped with a state of the art digital media system that gives access to an infinite choice of music as well as a traditional organ.
“A webcast is available for those who cannot attend, with a live on-line screening possible for anyone across the world.”
Service times will be at hourly intervals. The operator says the facility will take pressure off of Cambridge Crematorium, which handles in excess of 2,500 cremations every year.
Westerleigh said that new filtration equipment will be fitted to ensure the crematorium is one of the cleanest facilities of its kind by reducing emissions.
Richard Evans, the managing director of the Westerleigh Group, said: “I am delighted to see the new crematorium finished and ready to open its doors. It seems a long time since we first won planning permission and I am grateful for the confidence placed in Westerleigh by Uttlesford councillors.”
He added: “The whole setting is really special and everyone has been very impressed so far with what they have seen. We are just keen to now get on with the job of looking after bereaved families at this most difficult time in their lives.”