Building work has begun on a highly controversial memorial park and crematorium project in Swanwick.
The Amber Valley Memorial Park and Crematorium (AVMP) is being built on the B6179 Derby Road between Swanick and Alfreton.
Developers say that the completed site will offer people in the county first class cremation and burial services.
Plans for the £4 million project, headed up by Memoria, a premium crematoria operator, were originally rejected by Amber Valley Borough Council early last year.
It was later given the go ahead at an appeal in July, despite more than 500 letters of objection from local people.
Howard Hodgson, chairman of Memoria, said that there was a need for the crematorium in the area.
He added: “If there wasn’t a need for it, we wouldn’t have invested £4 million.
“We are good neigbours, there will be a beautiful memorial park and a five-star chapel which will be well kept.”
The project is expected to be completed by January 2015 and will offer cremation and natural burials, aswell as a the chapel and a memorial park.
When built, it will be the closest crematorium for more than 178,000 people.
Last year, however, campaigners were fighting to stop the development being built, arguing that it would be built on land that separates Alfreton, Swanick and Somercotes.
Plans were then rejected by Amber Valley Borough Council on the grounds that AMVP was not needed, this decision was then overturned at a Government planning inquiry.
Mr Hodgson added that he respected the fears of the local people.
He said: “People are scared it will reduce the value of their homes, I respect that.
“However, you have to think of the greater good, it will benefit the local economy when people visit the area.”