PLANS to build a crematorium in Hooton have sparked anger and concern in the area.
People living around the proposed site in Waterworks Lane are worried about smoke and ash, smells, increased traffic and environmental impact.
They have organised a public meeting in Hooton Memorial Hall next Wednesday, July 26, at 7.30pm, which will be attended by the applicant.
The plan has been submitted to the borough council by the Westerleigh Group, which owns and operates 10 crematoriums and cemeteries across the UK. It is due to be decided in a few months' time.
Westerleigh says it has been searching for a suitable site for 10 years, and looked at Hadlow Road, Willaston, before plumping for Waterworks Lane.
Borough councillor Graham Smith (Con, Willaston & Thornton) said: 'The firm has given councillors a presentation on the plans. But residents are very concerned because they're in the dark. I've assured them our planning and environment officers are looking into this.'
Resident Ann Bickerstaffe said: 'We are worried about potential noise, ashes, smoke, and the impact on wildlife and the environment, as it's green belt land.
'Hooton is a small place and the amount of traffic through here already is amazing.
'All the residents I've spoken to are up in arms about this.'
In a letter to residents on Thursday, Westerleigh says: 'There has been a need for a crematorium in Ellesmere Port & Neston for many years.'
The proposed facility would conduct 750 - 1,250 funerals a year - up to five a day - to ease the pressure on Blacon and Landican crematoriums.
Westerleigh managing director Richard Evans said: 'We think this is a very good site and I am happy to attend the meeting next week.
'We will use noise abatement equipment and the air will be clean. Funeral traffic won't be at peak times.'