September 27th, 2016

Controversial plans for crematorium in the Rubery green belt near Waseley Hills back on the table

Controversial plans for crematorium in the Rubery green belt near Waseley Hills back on the table Controversial plans for crematorium in the Rubery green belt near Waseley Hills back on the table
Updated: 1:23 pm, Jul 22, 2016

A CONTROVERSIAL application to build a crematorium on the green belt near Waseley Hills Country Park has been resubmitted to Bromsgrove District Council.

H2Land was given permission to build a cemetery but its proposal for a crematorium, off New Inns Lane, was thrown out two years ago as it was deemed ‘inappropriate development in the green belt’.

Residents raised a number of objections, including the increase of the traffic, the potential for added congestion in a well-used area which had schools and was well-used by dog walkers and visitors to Waseley Park.

Some argued it was too close to residents’ homes and expressed concerns about the noise and emissions and the impact they would have on their quality of life.

Others said there was not enough evidence to show there would be no adverse health impacts and others argued it could be built elsewhere, on brownfield land.

Coun Peter McDonald said if the developers were unhappy with the plans being thrown out they should go through the proper planning appeal process.

And he added he was disappointed officers had accepted another application for the same site when nothing had changed. He is now calling for a full explanation from the council.

“It is absolutely outrageous – a similar application was refused in 2014 on the grounds there were no special circumstances for the building to take place on green belt and that the comings and goings would have an adverse impact on the green belt.

“If the original applicant felt aggrieved at the decision he had the right to appeal, but instead is trying again and Bromsgrove District Council should honour the decision of 2014 and throw the application out.

“Residents should not once again have to go through the horror that they might have a crematorium on their doorstep and in addition that precious green belt spoilt in this way.”

An H2Land spokesperson said rather than appeal, which would significantly cost all parties, the firm had worked to fully address the concerns raised by the committee.

He said he was confident the proposals would meet all guidelines and address previous concerns, adding it should now be approved.

“We have now reduced the scale and mass of the buildings, re-arranged the car parking to provide a more discrete layout, whilst also significantly decreasing the hard surfacing present within the proposals.”

“In the meantime we have also progressed with the construction work of the cemetery previously approved.”

A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said the new application was materially different to the previous one as it sought permission for less hardstanding across the site and a lower building, as well as the use of the chapel for cremation services as well as funeral services.

He added there were also differences in the internal design to facilitate cremations and to a flue for the chapel.

He concluded by saying the authority was obliged to consider and determine all applications and it would go before the planning committee in the future.

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