A GOVERNMENT planning inspector has given the green light to a crematorium in Lach Dennis but says landscaping plans require a rethink.

The Birches Remembrance Park and Crematorium, which is located within six-acre grounds off Birches Lane, was rejected by Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2012 but later approved on appeal.

In 2016, a landscaping plan was approved – but CWAC and residents say this and other approved aspects were not adhered to.

Planning inspector Hilda Higenbottam said: “The inspector in the 2012 appeal found that the landscape masterplan, at that time, with the greater part of the site around the building and car parks proposed to be grass or scrub cover would assimilate the development into the landscape.

“Paths and hard landscaping were proposed close to the car park and building only. Clearly what is envisaged now is a more structured hard landscape setting to the crematorium building, with level changes and more ornamental planting.

“In my view, this is at odds with what was envisaged and promoted in the 2012 appeal scheme.”

She concluded: “The building as built, and the car park layout are acceptable and should be approved.

"However, the changes to the levels, the hard and soft landscaping are unacceptable and so the relevant conditions remain unchanged."

The new crematorium facility plans to open in the new year.

“We are delighted to have received planning permission on the crematorium building and we are passionate about providing a positive experience for families saying goodbye to loved ones,” said The Birches general manager Angela Dunn.

“It is incredibly important that family and friends feel as comfortable, at peace and as private as possible throughout the final ceremony, and that includes space to contemplate their loved ones’ lives and achievements.

“We do not want people to feel that they have to rush off after the ceremony and want to create a peaceful and safe space in which all family members can come to terms with their grief.

“Now we have received permission to open the crematorium, we are working to give the local community another beautiful setting in which to say goodbye to their loved ones.”

The Birches Remembrance Garden plans feature accessible pathways from which to enjoy the trees.

Shrubs and wildflowers will be interspersed with seating facilities, where family members will have an opportunity to look at floral tributes and walk through the grounds.

The Birches bereavement team is currently seeking further consultation with the community, parish council and planning officers regarding the landscaped areas after previous planting schemes were rejected.