Following a lengthy battle for planning permission for a crematorium at the foot of the Waseley Hills in Rubery, developers have now put the land up for sale.
And while the site is being sold freehold with permission for the crematorium and cemetery, the sales listing states that future housing development could be an option for the buyer – with potential for up to 350 homes at the site – if Green Belt restrictions can be lifted.
H2Land originally applied to Bromsgrove District Council for permission for a cemetery at the Green Belt site on New Inns Lane in 2012. This application was approved and in 2014 an application to add a chapel to the site was given the green light.
However, due to the Green Belt status of the land and concerns from local residents and politicians, it took developers three applications and two appeals to the government’s Planning Inspectorate to get approval for a crematorium. Much to the disappointment of some, the permission to build a crematorium was eventually granted by the government earlier this month (July, 2019).
Offers are being accepted for the 19.8 acre freehold development site, with planning permission for the cemetery, chapel and crematorium and over 6000 burial plots.
Potential for housing?
Beside those from the funeral business market, the vendors are also targeting housing developers as potential buyers.
The sales listing states there is: “Potential to split site for Crematorium and future Residential development. The site capacity is assessed as suitable for 350 homes.”
With Bromsgrove District Council needing to release some Green Belt land to meet future housing targets, H2Land are hoping that the land – currently listed as Green Belt with Potential – will be released for housing development during review, in view of the permissions already granted on the site.
Rubery Councillor Peter Mcdonald said: “Local residents are left with a crematorium hanging around their necks for three years or raise no objections to houses being built on greenbelt.
“The people to blame are Bromsgrove District Council who should have never recommend the greenbelt to be built on in the first place.
“The appeal was nothing but a farce at a great cost to Bromsgrove District Council. This clearly demonstrates the planning process favours the applicant over local democracy.”