Hundreds sign petition against Portsmouth funeral home bid

PROTEST Residents are objecting to a Southern Co-Operative funeral offices in Tangier Road Copnor being converted to have its use changed to allow it also to become a chapel of rest.  Picture: Malcolm Wells (120142-5938)
PROTEST Residents are objecting to a Southern Co-Operative funeral offices in Tangier Road Copnor being converted to have its use changed to allow it also to become a chapel of rest. Picture: Malcolm Wells (120142-5938)
Unite the trade union holding a universal credit protest on the doorstep of Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt's constituency office on November 10. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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NEIGHBOURS have voiced their disgust over a plans to open a funeral parlour in their street.

Homeowners in Tangier Road, Copnor, are unhappy with The Southern Co-operative’s plan to convert its existing funeralcare offices opposite The Tangier pub into a chapel of rest where bodies can be viewed and stored before funerals.

The office already sells coffins and arrangements are made there with people to have their loved ones buried or cremated.

Residents have put up ‘Stop dead bodies coming to Tangier Road’ posters in their windows and a petition has been gathered with 300 signatures.

Lesley Wood, 64, who lives next to The Co-op funeralcare office, said: ‘I don’t want my grandchildren looking at dead bodies.

‘Everyone is up in arms. We put up the posters because the plans are not right.

‘There will be more traffic and the presence of a funeral home is going to lower the value of properties in the street.’

The council’s planning committee rejected The Co-op’s initial application for the office to become a parlour at a public meeting in November because of the high number of complaints from residents.

Now The Co-op will appeal the decision at another meeting with residents and committee members on February 1.

Julie Coleman, 50, of Tangier Road, said: ‘We’ve been told that we won’t see any bodies being put in the parlour because they’ll be covered by a white cloth.

‘Unless they use invisibility jackets we’ll be able to see everything. I’m totally disgusted by the plans. It doesn’t fit in with our community.’

Graham Lymn, head of operations for The Southern Co-operative End of Life Services said: ‘Our objective is to provide a facility where friends and relatives can have the option of paying their last respects.

‘Bereavement is always a traumatic time for loved ones and it’s our duty to ensure that everything is done to make things as uncomplicated as possible for them.

‘The arrival and departure of the deceased would be in a discreet private ambulance.’

Residents have until Friday, January 27 to make their objections ahead of the meeting.