The ACT could have its first electric crematorium within the next six years.
However, the decision to build it near a nature reserve has received plenty of pushback from residents concerned about habitat loss.
Spanning across about 10 acres next to Callum Brae Nature Reserve, along Narrabundah and Mugga lanes, the development would be one of the ACT's first all-electric crematoriums.
The development application for the complex, submitted by InvoCare, was conditionally approved in October this year. It includes plans for a chapel, car park, memorial garden, artificial pond, entry roads and possibly a caretaker's residence.
Residents including birdwatchers and daily walkers form Friends of Callum Brae Nature Reserve, are against the development.
Their main concerns are that 15 mature trees threatened swift parrots forage in will be cut down. The trees are believed to be 100 to 200 years old.
"There are less than 300 swift parrots remaining [in the wild] and they come here in the winter, they migrate from Tasmania. Where will they go?" Didi Sommer asked.
She was also worried about the surrounding critically endangered Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum grassy woodland.
James Lindsay, 78, said the crematorium would be built about 16 metres from the boundary of the reserve. He was concerned about toxic emissions from the development affecting his health and that of native wildlife.
"'Separation distance guidelines for air emissions, November 2018' specifies the recommended separation distance for air emissions from cremation as 150m," the group said.
They plan to air their objections at an ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal hearing on December 18.
"We want them to reopen development application on the environmental impact track because that would mean they have to do ... a complete study of all the environmental issues that are involved here. That was not done because they managed to put it on the 'merit track'," said group convener Pamela Collett.
"They don't have a complete environmental impact statement, which is the minimum that should have been done."
If ACAT confirms the crematorium proposal, construction will begin before October 2026.
If a resolution is not reached, the development would be subject to ACAT's review process and any new orders made.
"The authority's decision is set aside until the ACAT had an opportunity to review the matter and make orders it considers appropriate," an ACT government spokesperson said.
Ms Collett felt confident and positive because the group strongly believed wildlife must be protected.
"We feel that we are custodians of these critically endangered trees. This is one of the last remaining [places with] Yellow Box-Blakely's Red Gum grassy woodland, in all of Australia," she said. "We have a responsibility because these trees are very old."
The group will request an order to stop construction works on the site.
The Canberra Times made multiple attempts to get comments from Invocare.
The funeral group operates crematorium complexes around Australia and overseas under better-known brand names, including White Lady Funerals and Tobin Brothers, in Canberra and Queanbeyan.