PLANS for a funeral directors in Corsham are being called ‘inappropriate’ and ‘undignified’ by locals who say dead bodies are being wheeled down the High Street and in through the front door.

They say the planners who rubber-stamped the application to turn the Bebeco shop into a funeral parlour and mortuary did not consider the location.

“We have seen bodies wheeled down the pavement and in through the front door, as this premises has no rear entrance,” said Lesley Jefferson who lives a few doors up.

“There was one occasion where the hearse had to park outside the Post Office up the road, and ask a lady to move her car so they could get the body out of the back.

“But we have seen body bags and coffins go in and out of the front door. You really couldn’t make this stuff up. It could be in a sit com.”

The application has been submitted on behalf of D J Bewley Funeral Directors which also operates from Melksham, Trowbridge and Devizes.

The firm is run by a brother of the other Bewley’s funeral directors in Corsham, AJB Funeral Directors on Pickwick Road, although the two are not connected and the application is separate. Neither wanted to comment.

It was approved by Wiltshire Council planning officers, despite objections to the change of use application.

So Wiltshire Council ward member for the area Ruth Hopkinson objected at the Northern Area Planning committee, which then overturned the bid.

“This premises has been used a funeral parlour for a number of months - even before the application was submitted,” she said.

But the overturned decision has been appealed and will again be put before the planners who approved it in the first place.

“Apart from this being an inappropriate spot for a funeral parlour because of the access, I think the planners have got this wrong. There is only a temporary parking bay outside, which means if they need to make a delivery, they will have to cone off the area or park up the road somewhere and wheel the trolleys down.”

The premises are just yards from the Flemish Weaver and the Royal Oak pubs, a florist’s shop and a pizza shop.

Cllr Toby Sturgis, Cabinet Member for Planning, said: “The applicant has appealed the Council’s refusal, and a final decision will be made by an independent Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State”.