After a long planning battle, an inspector from the Government’s Planning Inspectorate is to hold a hearing today (Tuesday 11th June) as part of the consideration of an appeal from developers to add a crematorium to the planned Waseley Hills Cemetery site.
Waseley Hills Cemetery planning timeline
Permission was granted by Bromsgrove District Council for a cemetery at the site on New Inns Lane, Rubery, at the foot of the Waseley Hills, back in 2012. The addition of a chapel and a maintenance building was approved in 2014.
However, at that time, the application to include a crematorium on the site was turned down.
In 2016, a second amended application for a crematorium on the site was submitted. Hundreds voted in a B31 Voices poll, with just 30% in favour of the proposals.
After this second plan was refused, developers appealed to the government’s Planning Inspectorate to overturn the decision by Bromsgrove District Council (BDC) in early 2017.
However, in August of that year, government planning inspector R. C. Kirby concluded that the appeal should be dismissed on the grounds that the proposal to add a crematorium on the site:
- “[…] is inappropriate development in the Green Belt which is by definition harmful”
- “[…] would reduce the openness of the Green Belt, result in conflict with the purposes of including land within it, and adversely affect the character and appearance of the area”
- “did not present enough evidence to determine the possible risks to the biodiversity of the site.”
Third application refused
Developers sought to address the inspectors concerns with a third planning application to BDC in December 2017. However, in March 2018, after consideration and with continued objections raised by local residents and politicians, the application was yet again refused.
Unwilling to admit defeat, developers H2Land appealed to the Planning Inspectorate against this latest decision in April 2018.
Today (Tuesday 11th June), a Planning Inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, will hold a hearing at BDC as part of the consideration of the appeal.