A sod cutting ceremony has taken place to mark the start of construction work on a controversial crematorium in Bierton.
Contractors have been on site in Cane End Lane, undertaking ground works, such as installing fencing and gates and laying the sub base to the site access.
Councillor Tony Green, chairman of the Chilterns Crematorium Joint Committee, which will run the site alonside the existing facility in Amersham, said: “We are pleased that work has now started. We are keen to get moving on building this important public facility.
“We expect the major works to start in the summer with the new crematorium opening in summer 2016.”
The project is being financed from the committee’s reserves so there will be no extra cost to taxpayers.
The crematorium was opposed by local residents who fear it will cause traffic problems. Some villagers also claimed a crematorium would give them depression to be reminded of death so regularly, while one critic said he had lost family in the Holocaust and feared his Jewish friends and relatives would not come to visit.
It was approved by the district council (which is part of the joint committee) just weeks the authority also gave the green light to a rival application for a crematorium in nearby Watermead.
However, government minister Eric Pickles has since instructed the council not to grant the Watermead application full planning permission until he has looked over the proposals.