Neighbours win battle against Portsmouth funeral home

REFUSED A chapel of rest will not be allowed at Co-operative Funeralcare in Tangier Road, Copnor.  Picture: Jake Ratcliffe
REFUSED A chapel of rest will not be allowed at Co-operative Funeralcare in Tangier Road, Copnor. Picture: Jake Ratcliffe
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DELIGHTED residents praised Portsmouth councillors for refusing permission for a chapel of rest in their street.

Neighbours have been fighting an application by Co-operative Funeralcare to allow relatives to view dead bodies in its premises in Tangier Road, Copnor.

The campaigners complained their children and grandchildren would be frightened by the sight and presence of corpses, large private ambulances would end up blocking the road and the location was inappropriate for a funeral home.

Following a previous refusal, the Co-op put forward proposals for improving access to the site and shielding the loading and unloading of bodies in its rear yard with a canopy.

But yesterday city planners considered the case for the third time and again rejected the application on the grounds that it would affect people living near by.

Lesley Wood, 64, lives two doors down from the building and said she was glad common sense had won in the end.

‘I’m very pleased,’ she said. ‘The council was thorough in its questioning of everybody and everything that was said.

‘They got it just right. They could see what was happening, that it was just not on to have bodies out where children could see them. The Co-op have the right to appeal but if they have any sense of decency this will be the end.’

But Lib Dem councillor David Fuller, who runs a care home in Cosham, said in his experience of working with the Co-op its employees had always been professional and respectful.

He added: ‘On this occasion I didn’t like their proposals. The facilities were in the wrong location and were claustrophobic and small.’

The only councillor to vote against the refusal, Tory Luke Stubbs, said he thought the home would have been better than the likely alternatives.

He said: ‘This could easily end up as another kebab shop or Indian restaurant and local people would have benefited more from having a funeral home.’

A spokesman for the Co-op was unavailable to comment.