PLANS have been drawn up for a crematorium which developers say would significantly cut funeral travel times for families in the Oswestry area.

The Westerleigh Group is consulting on plans to build and operate a new crematorium near Nesscliffe, off the old A5 between Oswestry and Shrewsbury, which they say would also ease congestion at other crematoria.

The aim is to provide a much more accessible funeral service option for families throughout the Oswestry and border areas.

Richard Evans, chief executive of the Westerleigh Group, said: “A new crematorium is needed to ensure that families living in Oswestry and the surrounding area have access to a dedicated local facility."

The nearest crematoria serving the Oswestry area are in Pentrebychan and Shrewsbury, with journeys taking more than 30 minutes in a funeral cortege.

Some families have to travel as far as Telford.

The Westerleigh Group says that it is widely accepted that the longest anyone should have to travel in a cortege is for 30 minutes.

A spokesman said: "The proposed new crematorium would relieve funeral congestion at existing crematoria, especially in the busy winter months.

"Lack of availability at the existing crematoria means many bereaved families have to wait longer than three weeks for a funeral with existing crematoria often overly busy, struggling to provide the right time and space for funeral parties. Funeral directors have complained that the facilities can often be congested with different groups of mourners overlapping."

The plans - which have yet to go before Shropshire Council - will be unveiled at a public exhibition at Nesscliffe Village Hall from 2.30-7pm on Tuesday, September 18.

Members of the public will be given an opportunity to have their say on the plans.

"We are looking forward to showing our plans to the public and are hoping to explain how a modern crematorium in an attractive parkland setting can add to this community’s quality of life," Mr Evans added.