A new application has been submitted to Bromsgrove District Council to add a crematorium facility to Waseley Hills Cemetery in Rubery.
Cemetery and chapel approval
Planning permission was granted for a cemetery on the edge of the Waseley Hills Country Park in Rubery in 2012.
Further planning permission was received in 2014 for a chapel and maintenance building on the site, at New Inns Lane, close to the junction with Boleyn Road, Frankley (Planning Application 14/0575).
“Adverse effect” on Green Belt
At the same time, after much objection from local residents and politicians, Bromsgrove District Council refused permission to include facilities for cremation, citing an inappropriate, industrial use of green belt land and increased traffic to the site, amongst other issues.
The council at that time said: “the proposed crematorium flue and associated comings and goings associated with the crematorium and the industrial process of cremations would have an adverse impact upon the visual qualities of the Green Belt and the designated Landscape Protection Area.”
Preparation of the site has begun and, now, developers have re-applied to alter the use of the approved chapel and maintenance buildings to include a crematorium. (Planning application 16/0581)
Some changes have been made to try and make the proposal acceptable, including:
- A reduction in the volume of the previously approved buildings: although the footprint would remain the same, the height of the buildings has been reduced in the new proposal.
- A reduction (over 20%) in the amount of hardstanding on the site for car parking / access
- A redesign of the flue: new plans are for a shorter flue which will look more in keeping with the appearance of the new building which is designed to have a natural feel with its wood panelling and grassed roof. This to address concerns that the flue, necessary for a crematorium, on the original plans was too high and industrial looking to be allowed on green belt land.
However, local councillor Peter MacDonald (Labour) told the Bromsgrove Standard that the council shouldn’t even be considering the application, after throwing out proposals back in 2014.
Cllr Andy Cartwright (Longbridge, Labour) said he & colleague Cllr Carole Griffiths would also be opposing the application again, saying that a crematorium would have an adverse affect on traffic in Longbridge ward.
A local resident, who does not wish to be named, said she would object to the application again, saying that the location is not suitable for a crematorium.
She said: “The road network and access is appalling, it is right next to a country park and local housing, I’m very concerned about where people will park when there are services, I’ve recently printed order of services for funerals who had 250 and 300!
“Bromsgrove council have previously refused an application for a crematorium which was being added as a variation to an application for just a cemetery, it was not a minor variation and 2 years later they are trying again.”
Have your say
You can view the proposals and have your say by visiting the Bromsgrove District Council planning website and searching for planning application number 16/0581 Comments can be received until the 7th September 2016.