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Town protests funeral parlour plan

Plans for a new funeral parlour in Southam have been rejected by the town’s residents.

The proposal for a new funeral home, submitted by Heart of England Co-operative Group to Stratford District Council, has received over 200 objections from locals.

The new parlour would be located near to an existing family-run funeral parlour, and its application follows the closure of a Premier convenience store in the town last year, leaving only one food store in the town centre.

Southam ward councillor Tony Bromwich believes that a new funeral home does not “reflect policies in the core strategy including improvement to economic viability, physical appearance and to strengthen tourism activity”. Local residents are also concerned that a lack of variety in the town could drive out visitors.

Bromwich said: “Southam is one of the largest rural centres in the district and the focal point for a sizable rural catchment.

“As such it is reasonable for the town to be considered suitable for additional housing and business development. Having said that its character as a rural market town needs to be protected and there are various constraints to further development on its periphery.”

He added: “The proposed funeral parlour is completely out of context with any requirements in Southam. There seems to be no demonstrable need for such a large site for a funeral parlour.

“It appears to run contrary to the aim and policies of the core strategy and would have a dramatic impact on an already struggling town centre.”

A decision on the application is expected in mid-February.

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