Hereford & Worcester

Cremator to heat pool plan in Redditch passed

Plans to use energy from a crematorium to heat a council swimming pool have been approved.

Redditch Borough Council voted in favour of plans to heat Abbey Stadium Leisure Centre using energy from the town's crematorium.

The council said it would result in savings of £14,560 a year. Unison leaders had called the idea "sick".

Nearby Warwick District Council has been using a similar method to heat some buildings for about 15 years.

In Redditch, the Conservative-led authority said work would begin in the summer to divert waste heat, which currently escapes from the cremator chimney, into the redeveloped leisure centre, which will include a 25m swimming pool.

It is expected the heat from the crematorium will meet 42% of the centre's heating demands.

Council leader Carole Gandy said it was a sensitive matter and the council had wanted to be sure the proposals had widespread support.

She said: "I am pleased to say that since news of the proposals broke and following consultation we undertook in Redditch, about 80% to 90% of the responses received by email, letter, phone calls and messages posted online have been in favour of the idea."

She added that the practice was common in parts of Europe.

The plans had been attacked by Unison when they were first announced. The union said the proposals were "sick and an insult to local residents".

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