The Lawn Cemetery was opened in 1984 and provides services for burials and memorialisation. Both burial and cremation plots are available at the cemetery.
The existing buildings include a former gate lodge (now disused and in a poor state of disrepair), a chapel and facilities for ground staff. Whilst the existing cemetery provides areas for interment of ashes, and it has a chapel for funeral services, it does not have the facility to carry out cremations. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council has identified a need for improved cremation services to address increased waiting times and distances required to travel.
The proposed crematorium building will sit below the tree line when first viewed and is approached from higher ground, thus minimising its impact on the openness of the greenbelt. When visitors enter the site and reach the top of the ridge, rather than finding themselves amongst a group of buildings as they currently do they will be in an open area, landscaped with new planting and trees. This newly revealed vista provides long views across the cemetery and the valley beyond. From the outset, the intention for the crematorium building was to avoid the one size fits all approach that characterises many new crematorium developments. The character of the place needs to be reflected in a design that sits comfortably in its context and respects the dignity of the occasion. The proposal is to be constructed whilst maintaining safe access to the cemetery for visiting members of the public. It is important that visitors are still able to visit existing gravestones during the current hours of operation.
February 2020 - Planning approval.
Summer 2021 - Anticipated public engagement.
Late 2021 - Construction commences.