A pensioner has called for a new crematorium to be built in the north-east, claiming it is “badly needed”.
Doug Simpson is concerned that towns like Fraserburgh, Peterhead and the surrounding area does not have its own facility.
As it currently stands the nearest crematoria for the Buchan area are is Hazlehead in Aberdeen, Baldarroch at Crathes, near Banchory, or Moray Crematorium near Buckie.
A visit to either three involves a 100-mile round trip from Fraserburgh.
Proposals to build crematoria at Mintlaw and Crimond were passed by councillors in 2011 and 2014 respectively, but planning permission for both projects has now lapsed.
Mr Simpson, a former electrician at the St Fergus gas plant, is worried that there are not enough facilities to cope with expected demand.
The 69-year-old from Fraserburgh said: “I am concerned about the lack of a crematorium to serve Aberdeenshire generally, including Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Ellon, Inverurie Banff and all the villages in between.
“As the baby boomer generation get older there is going to be an even greater demand for a facility.
“It is a large and growing district and the lack of a crematorium is causing a lot of people, often elderly, to travel 100 miles or more to attend cremations.
“The situation is not ideal and we badly need a crematorium locally.”
Mr Simpson has raised his fears with Aberdeenshire Council in a letter.
In his reply, the local authority’s landscape boss said a new crematorium would ease “substantial pressure” on burial grounds.
Philip McKay said: “From a council perspective an increase in cremations would reduce the substantial pressures on our burial grounds.
“At present a number of burial grounds have capacity of between 5 and ten years.
“The creation of a crematorium facility in Aberdeenshire provides the opportunity to create a step change in the ratio between cremation and burial across Aberdeenshire.
“A marked increase in cremations would help to reduce the pressure on burial grounds, reducing the need for the creation of new sites.”
Mr McKay said the council would also consider a “joint venture” with a private company, an idea suggested four years ago.
He said: “Discussions in 2014 with interested parties in relation to the Mintlaw site did suggest that availability of capital investment is a major factor contributing to the lack of progress.
“There was still a desire to see this option progress, they indicated at this time that they were keen to explore options for the council to become involved in a way which would facilitate this development.
“As there are benefits to the council of a crematorium facility in this general location it is considered appropriate that further explorations be made to determine if there is an acceptable “joint venture” model which would see one of these sites developed in a mutually beneficial manner.
“Costs for the development of a facility capable of handling up to 1,000 cremations annually is currently estimated at around £3.5-£4million.”