Maldon funeral parlour plans upset elderly neighbours

Brian Stewart
Image caption Brian Stewart, whose wife died a few months ago, said he was upset by the funeral parlour plans

Plans to open up a funeral parlour opposite a block of retirement flats have been described as "insensitive".

Proposals have been put forward by Adam & Greenwood funeral directors for a parlour on High Street in Maldon, Essex.

Elderly people who live at the back of the building said they were distressed by the thought of having to see hearses and bodies coming and going.

The company said it would not be seeking alternative premises.

Brian Stewart lives on the top floor of the retirement block.

"When I look out of my windows, I look directly at this proposed funeral parlour," he said. "To think about it is so depressing.

Image caption The back of the proposed funeral parlour can be clearly seen from the retirement flats

"My wife died in January and I'm having to get over that. But then to be faced with looking at a funeral home... it's just not on."

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said: "To me, it's just totally insensitive. The people who live here, they don't need to see this.

"We're just hoping and praying something will be done to make sure this doesn't actually go ahead."

Ray Ward, from Adam & Greenwood funeral directors, said he wished those concerned had spoken to him before he signed up to buy the premises.

"The strength of feeling has come as a surprise," he told BBC Essex.

But he is adamant the parlour will go ahead, because the company has a new contract to provide out-of-hours funeral services in the Chelmsford and Maldon district areas.

"My contract says I have to pick people up within an hour and the base in Maldon will allow us to do that," he said.

"If the planners turn me down, I will go to appeal."

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