Aum Crematorium, Denham
This landmark development involved the creation of a new Hindu faith crematorium at the site of an existing Swaminarayan Temple; the first genuine Hindu Crematorium in the UK.
The importance and significance of this development is down to the fact that it was the first genuine Hindu Crematorium in the UK (and some believe it’s even the first in all of Europe). After some challenges and the refusal of the initial application due to being on a green belt, planning permission was finally granted.
This development included the erection of a crematorium, dining hall, and associated landscape and biodiversity enhancements. The 6.3 hectare wooded site was already home to a Swaminarayan Temple; Anoopam Mission UK is part of a global Hindu charitable organisation headquartered in the Gujarat region of India.
The new crematorium building has been constructed within the Greater London Green Belt area, adjacent to the M40 trunk road, and is located wholly within Flood Zone 2 and partially within Flood Zone 3.
Dice carried out a full Flood Risk Assessment and Drainage Strategy of the site, which is within Flood Zone 2 (with between a 1:1000 and 1:100 probability of fluvial flooding a year, hence it's considered to be at medium risk of surface water flooding).
This included considering existing drainage infrastructure, producing a detailed Flood Risk assessment, designing a drainage/SuDS strategy to support outline planning permission and producing drainage/SuDS layout drawings.
The development includes a new single storey building that has been built to be used as a new crematorium, as well as changing the use of the surrounding area to create memorial gardens, while still ensuring the space is fit for purpose with practical elements such as coach parking and space for hearse arrival. The development also included extending the existing temple.
The project was a massive victory for the Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains community who previously had to choose between using other crematoria facilities used by other faiths (and the non-religious), or having their ceremonies at home. In contrast, the design of the new building and facilities was specifically tailored and designed to meet the needs of the Hindu community.