Plans to build a £3.5m crematorium near Abingdon to cut travelling times for mourners has been approved.

The 296sqm building on the A338 Wantage Road by Garford would be the third crematorium in the county.

The firm behind the bid, Stratton Audley-based Memoria, said the facility would serve a population of 190,000 and save people from travelling to Oxford, Banbury, West Berkshire, Thatcham or Swindon.

The site will also have gardens of remembrance and land for burials.

Vale of White Horse District Council approved plans on Wednesday night, but the project will not be rubber stamped until a legal agreement over developer contributions to local infrastructure is agreed.

Nigel Carter, of Edward Carter Funeral Directors in Abingdon, said: “We have often experienced occasions where our clients have had to wait over 10 days to secure a booking at Oxford Crematorium.”

Memoria’s Jamieson Hodgson said: “There is a big gap in the country which is certainly not provided for.

“People in Abingdon, Faringdon, Didcot and Wantage have to travel more than 30 minutes to get to their closest crematorium.”