The Deputy Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield, Councillor Barbara Fitzsimon joined the Leader of the Council, Councillor Tony Kingsbury, other council member and the R G Carter team for a groundbreaking ceremony at the Oak Hill Lawn Cemetery and Crematorium in Hatfield, the first crematorium in the borough.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has identified a need for improved cremation services to address increased waiting times and distances required to travel to existing local crematoriums.
The development will provide a new larger chapel, for both burial and cremation funeral services, as well as combining the facilities needed for both cremation and burial services. The chapel will also serve as a space for remembrance services throughout the year.
The existing buildings at the entrance to the cemetery will be replaced with new landscaping and areas for burial. The bereavement services team will be located in the new complex with reception making access to staff easier as well as improving the facilities for visitors.
Councillor Kingsbury said:
From the outset, the intention for the new bereavement complex was to avoid the one size fits all approach that characterises many new crematorium developments. The character of the place needs to be reflected in a design that sits comfortably in its context and respects the dignity of the occasion.
The new building will sit below the tree line when first viewed, minimising its impact on the openness of the greenbelt. When visitors enter the site and reach the top of the ridge, rather than finding themselves amongst a group of buildings as they currently do, they will be in an open area, landscaped with new planting and trees. This newly revealed vista provides long views across the cemetery and the valley beyond.
The new facility is due to open in Spring 2023.
More information about the new crematorium can be found on ONE Welwyn Hatfield