Residents heard how a new crematorium in Climping would 'greatly improve the experience for local families dealing with bereavement', at a planning consultation on Friday (January 25).
Last week, the Observer reported proposals by Southern Co-op for a new crematorium on the southern side of the A259, within a week of an application for a similar development on the opposite side of the road, by Landlink Estates.
Southern Co-op, which said it has been 'reviewing the need and opportunity' for a new crematorium in the Sussex area, invited residents to view its proposals for Grevatt’s Lane, Climping, on Friday.
A spokesman said: "More than 70 local residents, councillors and nearby businesses met with us on Friday and were grateful for the opportunity to view the information first hand, ask questions and fill in feedback forms.
"For us it was a chance to engage with the local community and we were pleased to see so many people showing a genuine interest in the reasons behind our proposals. Many people shared with us their own first-hand experiences of bereavement and were already aware that there is a need for a new crematorium in the area."
It comes after a separate planning application (Y/103/18/PL), made by Landlink Estates, seeking permission for a single chapel crematorium at 10 Acre Field, north of Grevatts Lane, near Bilsham. Read more here.
Southern Co-op, which last week told the Observer it is 'aware of the other application', said many questions at its consultation were about where the site was located and how it might affect traffic in the area.
"We were able to take people through the benefits of having a crematorium locally such as an overall reduction in the total car miles driven to attend cremations," the spokesman added.
"Residents heard how the majority of services take place between 10.30am and 3.30pm and that our highways consultant has already developed an access proposal for the site. We also assured them that we will take on-board anything which is raised during the planning process.
"Other questions included the environmental impact which is something we have focused on as we want to make the site as environmentally responsible as possible."
Southern Co-op , which described how it has been supporting bereaved families across the south for over 75 years, said the building will be 'sensitively designed' to be in 'keeping with its rural location'.
The spokesman said: "We will work to protect and enhance the wildlife of the area as we have done at our other sites.
"We hope that we were able to demonstrate that we’re committed to making a difference in our local communities and how the site would greatly improve the experience for local families dealing with bereavement.
"We will be reviewing all the feedback we received and all comments will be taken on-board. We also welcome any further comments which can be made via southernco-opcrematoriumplan.co.uk."
The full plans can also be viewed on Southern Co-op's website.