WORK has begun on the construction of a new crematorium at Maldon Fields.

Plans for a new crematorium opposite St Margaret’s Church were approved by the district council’s northern western area planning committee in February 2023.

The construction site is off the A414 Maldon Road near to Woodham Mortimer.

The workforce on the site ‘broke ground’ by cutting the turf for the first time on Friday, January 12.

Richard Evans, director of crematorium operator Elegy, said: “We are hoping to open this new state-of-the-art crematorium at the end of this year. 

“Bereaved families are going to have the time and space that they need to hold a unique and personal funeral.

"The building will be set in a natural, beautiful place with views over the countryside to Maldon and the waters beyond.”

Matt Sainty, commercial director of contractor Natta, said: "We are delighted to commence this project and commemorate breaking ground with Elegy today. It is a pleasure to celebrate this first milestone.

“We are looking forward to delivering the three-phase groundworks package for this new crematorium. 

“Thank you to Elegy and Maldon Fields for awarding us this project. We look forward to working with you and establishing a successful partnership." 

Paul King of Paul J King Funeral Directors said a crematorium in the area has “never been more needed”.

He added: "As local independent family funeral directors, we are thrilled this facility is being built. 

“A crematorium for Maldon has never been more needed. Once open, it will make a huge difference to bereaved families.”

Proposals approved by Maldon District Council include a two-storey crematorium building with a ceremonial hall, memorial garden and access from the A414.

The restoration of Cooper’s Monument, in Maldon Road near the site, was also included as part of the proposals.

The crematorium is expected to seat 100 people and will hold four funerals a day.

A minimum of one hour will be allowed for each service, while state-of-the-art facilities will enable each family to have a funeral of their choice, without pressure.