Established in Portsmouth, Hampshire over 145 years ago, Southern Co-op is a successful, independent, regional business. We operate over 250 food stores and funeral homes across the south of England along with crematoria in Devon and Hampshire and a natural burial ground in Sussex.

As a co-operative, we have a purpose beyond profit. Our values and principles support sustainable business practice and we’re committed to making a difference in our local communities. We have proactive partnerships with our members, suppliers, local communities and partner organisations for the benefit of all.

Our community programme, Love Your Neighbourhood, aims to create greener, safer, healthier and more inclusive communities across the south of England by empowering our food stores, funeral homes and offices to support causes that matter locally.

In 2017, through our own investment and fundraising in addition to member, customer and supplier donations, over £1.26 million was given back to local our communities.

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We’re committed to running our business in a responsible and sustainable manner whether that’s reducing carbon, saving energy, preventing waste or supporting our local communities. We’re active members of Business in the Community (BITC), which is HRH The Prince of Wales’ responsible business network.

We’re owned by local people across the south of England, not by anonymous shareholders. Our business is run for the benefit of our members and local communities who contribute to, and share in our success as well as having a say in how our business is run.

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Southern Co-op has identified a need for a new crematorium within this area based upon an assessment of local demographics and the high demand for services placed upon the existing crematoria, as shown on the map to the right.

The population of the UK is ageing reflecting an increase in the number and proportion of older people. In addition, the population is increasing. For Arun District, the Office of National Statistics predicts a population increase of 9.6% between 2016 - 2026, resulting from the population ageing, birth rate changes and migration.

Whilst there have been increases in both population and death rates there has been no new provision of crematoria to accommodate these increases.

The map below shows two overlapping drive time contours based on Bognor Regis and Littlehampton respectively. The two nearest crematoria for these towns are Chichester and Worthing respectively, both on the periphery of the contours. The area shaded purple is where the two contours  overlap.

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To best serve the communities of the area furthest from existing crematoria, the site search has focused on an area between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton as shown on the map to the left.

This search also takes account of the limitations of the 1902 Cremations Act, avoidance of the South Downs National Park and all known non-residential developments (these are all shown as hatched).

We are proposing a low profile building that would be screened from the A259 on Grevatt’s Lane by tree planting.

The crematorium will provide a covered entrance and a waiting room for mourners. The service hall will provide a personal and intimate place for services and when necessary, be able to accommodate large congregations.

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Outside will be a beautiful memorial garden and a meadow accessed by pathways. The remainder of the site will be landscaped with low level shrubs and ornamental trees to provide mourners with a tranquil space where cremated remains can be laid to rest.

A new entrance on the A259 Grevatt’s Lane would include a right-hand turn lane for visitors approaching from the west.

The A259 is a busy road, but recent improvements to the highway have been installed. We have been careful to ensure that the level of parking proposed will fully meet the demands of the crematorium so that no off-site parking needs to occur.

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The proposed development is accessible by both walking and cycling and is served by bus services linking to nearby towns (Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Chichester). We therefore consider that there are alternatives to the private car to access the proposed crematorium. However, the nature of the development is that the majority of trips will be made by car.

We will provide a main car park with 94 spaces, 6 disabled spaces and 24 cycle spaces. There will also be space to accommodate an overflow car park with a further 60 spaces if required.

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The site falls within a ‘local gap’ between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. The building and landscaping scheme have been designed to respect that location, and to that end the crematorium building will be of single storey height, set back behind a landscaping scheme.

The enclosed flat nature of the landscape within which the site is located limits public views into the site. The principal views of the development will be from the public footpath along the western boundary of the site. The development proposed will improve that view by screening the industrial buildings further to the east. There may be glimpses of the crematorium building but its sensitive, interesting design will add to the view.

A survey of the site has been carried out to assess the ecological value of the land and to suggest appropriate mitigation to ensure that protected species and habitats are preserved.

Following the survey, it has been concluded that the majority of the site comprises a large arable field which has been managed intensively for cereal growing and therefore of low ecological value.

The field is bordered by well vegetated shelterbelts/hedgerows or ditch lines to the north, west and south. The ditch line to the south was considered to have the potential to still support water vole and the perimeter vegetation is likely to be used by birds for nesting and bats for foraging and commuting. Our proposals retain the existing field boundaries, except for where the new access will be created.

The proposed landscaping of the site can offer a biodiversity enhancement through the use of an appropriate landscaping scheme using plants and trees that can be of benefit to protected species.

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Who will operate the crematorium and what will the operating times be?

Southern Co-op would own and operate the site. Cremation services will be offered between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and occasionally on Saturday mornings.

Most services would take place between 10.30am and 3.30pm. It would not normally operate on Sundays or bank holidays.

How many jobs would it create?

The site will be a low intensity operation and the facility makes maximum use of the latest technology meaning only a small number of people are required to operate it. We anticipate employing about 6 people.

What have you done to assess highway safety?

The A259 is a busy road, but recent improvements to the highway have been installed. We have assessed records of previous accidents on this stretch of road and we feel highway safety would be preserved because our scheme provides for an appropriate, safe means of access for the development

Is the site within a flood zone?

Although a part of the site falls within an area of flood zone, our plans have been designed to manage that by keeping the building and parking areas outside of the lower parts of the site that are most at risk. In addition, the building is designed to be flood resilient.

What light pollution will there be?

Southern Co-op would seek to implement energy efficient lighting to minimise light pollution both for our neighbours and to maintain the ecological balance of the site.

What pollution would be released into the air from the crematorium?

Government regulations around what can be released into the atmosphere are very strict. The site will include the latest technology which exceeds these requirements.

What is the impact on trees and general conservation of the area?

Following an ecological survey, it has been concluded that the majority of the site comprises a large arable field which has been managed intensively for cereal growing and therefore of negligible ecological value. The proposed landscaping of the site can offer a biodiversity enhancement
through the use of an appropriate landscaping scheme using plants and trees that can be of benefit to protected species. With the exception of the site access, the existing field margins will be preserved and reinforced where required.

Contact Us

For further information regarding Climping Crematorium, please contact Matt Holmes at Chapman Lily Planning on 01929 55 38 18.