NEIGHBOURS of a Cowley funeral parlour have raised concerns about noise from a proposed extension to its mortuary.

A planning application has been submitted by S & R Childs Funeral Services to extend its Oxford Road branch for a larger mortuary.

But residents have told Oxford City Council they fear three new refrigerators will lead to an unacceptable level of noise.

Paul Smith, from Havelock Road, said in his objection: “We feel if this goes ahead it will make a huge impact on the quality of our day-to-day life.

“We already have to endure lots of noise when we have our doors and windows open and the noise of their air conditioning unit will have to increase if more refrigeration units are required.”

Neighbour Dragoljub Vranic said he was mostly concerned about “24/7” noise from the refrigerators. He said: “The increased number of vehicles and activity will also cause problems. We think the noise levels are already high – they’re only going to get higher.”

The rear extension would increase the size of the parlour by 25 per cent as part of improvements to its seven locations in Oxfordshire.

Company spokesman Stuart Cox said: “As part of continued improvements to our facilities and service to bereaved families, we are upgrading the mortuary facilities at this site to care for the deceased in a dignified, respectful and professional manner.

“We are aware that some of our neighbours have raised concerns with regard to a potential increase in levels of activity or noise associated with this planning application and we have sought to allay any concerns brought to our attention.

“As a professional and experienced company that undertakes many such projects nationwide we have taken advice from the local planning department to ensure our proposals reflect and consider the guidelines and constraints in place.”

Council planning officer Tim Hunter recommended councillors approve the plan this evening as long as noise does not go over a limit to be agreed.

He said: “The development will form an acceptable visual relationship with the existing building and local area, will not have an unacceptable effect on the current and future occupants of adjacent properties and continues to provide an adequate level of parking.

“Concerns over noise can be dealt with by condition.”

The east area planning committee will meet at the Town Hall, St Aldate’s, tonight from 6pm. The public can attend.

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