A cash-strapped council came under fire today after revealing plans to heat a swimming pool – by plugging it into a nearby CREMATORIUM.
Town hall chiefs want to use excess heat generated by the incinerator to warm the water for swimmers – and save £14,500-a-year on heating bills.
If approved, Redditch Borough Council will be the first authority in the country to use a crematorium to heat a swimming pool.
The council has outlined plans to heat Abbey Stadium Sports Centre from the cremators at neighbouring Borough Of Redditch Cemeteries & Crematorium.
Currently, heat from the incinerators – which reach 800 degrees C (1,472F) – is lost into the atmosphere.
Council chiefs say it will save cash and is a greener way of powering the leisure centre.
But local people have expressed concerns at the proposals, branding them ”eerie”.
Simon Thomas, of Thomas Brothers Funeral Directors, said: ”I don’t know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one, I think it’s a bit strange and eerie.
”I’m not comfortable with it at all and I think trying to save money due to the death of someone’s family member or friend is a bit sick.
”I think it will cause uproar and may even put people off using the facilities which would lose the council money.
”It just doesn’t feel right.”
But council leader Carole Gandy today defended the plans, saying it would be save money and energy ”in the long-term”.
She said: ”I’d much rather use the energy rather than just see it going out of the chimney and heating the sky.
”It will make absolutely no difference to the people who are using the crematorium for services.
”I do recognise some people might not like it, but if they don’t they don’t have to use our crematorium.
”I wouldn’t want them to do that but they have to make that choice.
”It’s only a proposal at the moment but personally I’m supportive of it because I think it will save the authority money and, in the long-term, save energy which is what we’re all being told we should do.”
Gordon Hull, from the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities, said: ”From an environmental view it makes sense that you don’t need a separate boiler because of how much waste heat is created from the process.”
A public meeting to discuss the plans will be held on Thursday before the matter is discussed at the council’s executive committee next Tuesday (Feb 1).