Bromsgrove District Council’s planning committee has refused planning permission to developers seeking 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 cemetery site has now begun and developers re-applied to alter the use of the approved chapel and maintenance buildings to include a crematorium. (Planning application 16/0581)
Despite some changes being made to reduce the volume of the previously approved buildings, reduce the size of the car park and lessen the industrial appearance by redesigning the crematorium flue, the plans were met with objection from many local residents and politicians.
Rubery 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.
Over 100 residents comments were submitted in response to the plans. Hundreds voted in a B31 Voices poll, with just 30% in favour of the proposals.
The plans were unanimously turned down by the planning committee at a meeting on Monday 5th September.