Plans for crematorium put on hold after heated meeting - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Plans for crematorium put on hold after heated meeting

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

Plans for a new crematorium were put on hold indefinitely after a crowd of Chesterfield residents met with funeral home operators Thursday night.

Residents of Clover Hill Estates neighborhood were burning up over the proposal that would place a crematorium just a stone's throw from their backyards.

The impact on property value, health and the unsightliness of a crematorium were all addressed in the heated exchange between audience members and a panel of experts.

Bennett Funeral Home held the meeting to get input and answer questions. Bennett's co-owner Robert Morehead, a salesperson with the crematorium company and a health expert opined about the safety of the crematorium being in close proximity to a neighborhood.

"There is no significant danger or health risk in operating a crematorium," said Brian Gramage, a sales engineer with Matthews Crematoriums. 

Gramage said burning the bodies wouldn't emit any odor or smoke but neighbors weren't convinced.

"Everything they said, it doesn't matter to me," said Clover Hill Estates resident Jennifer Grant. "I don't believe him and I want my children healthy."

Grant wasn't alone in her opinion.

When Bennett Funeral Home realized they hit a brick wall, it said they'll explore other options.

As for what those other options are? Morehead says, it's back to the drawing board to figure that out.

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