A £2 million crematorium is unable to open after a neighbour objector threatened to invoke a 112-year-old law in a dispute.

Locals in the Berwickshire hamlet of Houndwood were delighted that their historic B-listed church building had been saved and undergone a major refurbishment at huge expense. The developers received detailed planning permission from Scottish Borders Council and three people were to be employed.

But after the work was completed, the project has been mothballed after Dr Fraser Quin said he would enforce the 1902 Cremation Act which states that crematoriums should have the written approval of property owners living within 200 yards. Although there are two buildings between 50-year-old Dr Quin's £350,000 house and the crematorium, he lodged an objection after it was discovered the distance to the incinerator's chimney stack measured 183 yards.

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The childcare company director has warned he will call the police if any services are held in Houndwood Crematorium, unless the developers pay up to buy his property.

Heather Argent, who runs The Tea Room next to the crematorium, said: "Due to one objection everything has been put on hold."

Scottish Borders Council gave said the operators have all the necessary consents for the crematorium.