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Appeal hearing takes place for Lostock Green and Lach Dennis crematorium
AN APPEAL hearing for planning permission to site a crematorium on land bordering Lostock Green and Lach Dennis has taken place, with both the appellant and campaigners hoping it will fall in their favour.
Memoria Ltd lodged the appeal after Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWAC) strategic planning committee refused their plans to build a private crematorium, garden of remembrance and car park on land bordering the rural villages.
Guardian reporter Emma Rigby attended the appeal, which took place at Wyvern House.
- A LAST DITCH attempt has been made by campaigners to stop part of their village being turned into a crematorium.
More than 60 residents of Lostock Green and Lach Dennis showed their support for those speaking against Memoria’s plans at an appeal hearing last week.
Lach Dennis and Lostock Green Action Group members Fiona Cotton and Ros Todhunter told planning inspector Richard Clegg the development will have a detrimental impact on the daily lives of villagers.
Fiona Cotton said: “We are not against change in our locality, but it has to be change for the benefit of the local community which it is designed to serve.
“Given the very real harm that this proposal will have on the amenities of Lostock Green residents in particular, we feel that none of the material considerations in this proposal are worthy of departing from what is our adopted development plan.”
Fellow campaigner Ros Todhunter said: “If this appeal is successful it will change forever our two villages and our part of the heart of rural Cheshire.
“If a crematorium is built just on the outskirts of our village, every working day, including school holidays and Saturday mornings too, Lostock Green village will witness and encounter streams and queues of slow moving sombre traffic passing through.”
Following the hearing, Ros told the Guardian: “We don’t know what is going to happen now.
“The Action Group has done their best and now we have to wait for the decision.”
Memoria’s Jamieson Hodgson said: “We are satisfied that all parties had a thorough and fair hearing. All of the key issues were discussed exhaustively and we now have to be patient in waiting for the verdict.
“We hope that the hearing gave any objectors the opportunity to be more comfortable with our proposals as in the event that it goes ahead, we would want the local community to be reassured.
“We remain keen to provide this much needed facility to the people of mid Cheshire but will have to wait to see if the inspector gives us the right to do so.”
No indication has been given as to how long the decision will take.
- A NORTHWICH funeral director says the town needs a crematorium, but Memoria’s proposed location is not right.
Barri Dodgson, of Dodgson & Bell Funeral Services, told planning inspector Richard Clegg that Northwich has waited more than 30 years for a crematorium.
“Northwich has been waiting more than three decades for a decent crematorium facility," said Barri, who operates from Lostock Green and Knutsford, and has family living in the Lostock Green area.
“The proposed scheme for Lostock Green seems to be totally inadequate.
“The car parking facilities are inadequate, especially if one large funeral follows another, causing cars to overflow onto Birches Lane for parking.
“Altrincham crematorium is about to treble their parking to more than 150. It seems to me better to plan for something generous from the outset.”
Mr Dodgson questioned Memoria’s decision to have just one cremator, rather than three like Altrincham and Walton Lea Crematorium, as routine maintenance could mean closing the site.
But Jamieson Hodgson, Memoria’s business development director, said one cremator is sufficient.
He said: “We have never had a closure of any of our crematorium sites because we have one cremator,” explained Mr Hodgson.
“Our maintenance takes place always at the weekend and a second cremator is not needed until you are doing 1,600 cremations a year – we will be doing 1,000.”
Mr Dodgson added: “We have waited so long, let us have the right crematorium.”
Rival crematoria specialists Westerleigh will have their plans for a site in Davenham discussed tomorrow. To read about it, click here.