GRIEVING families in Barrhead could soon be able to hold funerals closer to home after plans to open East Renfrewshire’s first crematorium were unveiled.

Currently, mourners who want to have their loved ones cremated need to travel to the likes of Linn Crematorium, near Cathcart, or Woodside, in Paisley.

However, the Barrhead News can reveal plans are in place to build a crematorium on greenspace to the west of Glasgow Road.

It would be based on land currently used for grazing purposes and would include memorial gardens and parking.

Up to six full-time jobs would be created if the development is given the green light.

A separate application has been lodged to transform The Hurlet pub-restaurant, just yards from the proposed crematorium site, into a funeral parlour.

There has been a mixed reaction to the crematorium plans, lodged by Horizon Cremation, with some supporters welcoming the idea of having less distance to travel when attending a funeral.

However, others are concerned about the potential for traffic chaos on one of Barrhead’s busiest roads.

Councillor Paul Aitken told the Barrhead News: “I would be minded in favour of this planning application. I think it is time Barrhead had its own crematorium, rather than family and friends having to travel miles to attend crematorium services.

“Looking at the proposed location of the crematorium, it is on the very fringe of Barrhead and I do not believe it would negatively affect the local environment.”

Cllr Aitken, who represents Barrhead, Liboside and Uplawmoor as an Independent, added: “There could be wider economic benefits for the local economy in terms of the provision of lunches and hospitality after crematorium services, creating local jobs and businesses.”

What do the public think?

Barrhead News:

Barrhead woman Emma Campbell, 23, described the planned location as an “odd place” for a crematorium – and expressed disappointment over the prospect of The Hurlet being transformed into a funeral parlour.

She said: “I actually quite like the fact it is an eatery, as I’ve been going there since I was young.

“I have no problem with the idea of a crematorium and a funeral parlour and I can understand why they would seek that spot but I would prefer it if it stayed as an eatery.”

Claire Ramsay, from Giffnock, said she is in favour of the plans.

She added: “I think it would make it easier for people at a really difficult time if they could deal with everything locally.”

Claire also dismissed concerns that additional traffic could cause problems.

She said: “If there was a big funeral, there might be a time when there are a lot of cars but it isn’t going to be constant – it isn’t going to be all day, every day.”

However, Neilston woman Amina Hussain said concerns over traffic should be taken into consideration by council chiefs when they make a decision on the plans.

She added: “The road there can be busy and it could be hard to get around with the added traffic.”

The Applicant

Horizon Cremation already operates sites in the Clyde Coast and Garnock Valley, in North Ayrshire, and Cannock, in Staffordshire.

Jeremy Hamilton, director of Horizon Cremation, said the Barrhead crematorium would be “new, modern and environmentally advanced” and bring “better care” for local communities.

He added: “At the minute, families have no choice but to use old and dated facilities in either Glasgow or Paisley and, during peak winter months, it can be difficult for families to secure a crematorium service on a day and time that best suits them.

“We believe the people of East Renfrewshire should have their own dedicated crematorium facility and shouldn’t have to travel outwith the area to access cremation services.”