TWO rival funeral firms bidding to build a controversial crematorium just two miles apart both had the same message - our site is the best site.
As revealed in yesterday’s Leader, Memoria Ltd have submitted a second application to build Flintshire’s first and only crematorium on land between Kelsterton Lane, Oakenholt Lane and Mold Road, near Northop.
Their proposed site is less than two miles from an earlier application submitted by another firm of funeral directors, J E Davies and Sons, more than a year ago.
And yesterday bosses at both firms were adamant their plan represented the best bet for the people of Flintshire.
Memoria’s business development manager Jamieson Hodgson said his company had intended to wait until Mr Davies' application had been dealt with by Flintshire Council planners but brought its bid forward to “prove” that there were alternatives ouside of the green barrier.
“I’ve no issues with him (Mr Davies),” Mr Hodgson said.
“But the fact is in planning terms, green barrier land is only for use if there are no other alternative sites available – and we have proved that that is not the case.
“There’s nothing personal to it.
“We came in to prove conclusively there were other sites available that weren’t green barrier.”
Mr Hodgson added: “The problem with Mr Davies’ site is that the location is not suitable from a planning policy perspective and a visual impact perspective.
“Our site is much more tucked away, less visually intrusive and is in open countryside.
“Our assertion is the site we put forward is preferable to Mr Davies’ in planning and operational terms.”
In response, Mr Davies said: “I’m still confident my application will be successful. It’s central to Flintshire and we’ve assessed all potential sites and come up with the one that we think is best.”
Mr Davies said he wasn’t concerned by the location of Memoria’s nearby bid and said a second application showed the need was clear for a crematorium in Flintshire.
He added: “I don’t feel that this new application will stop mine going through.
“There’s obviously a strong need for a crematorium and that’s what being seen here.
“My application has been chosen as the site that would least affect the village of Northop and was chosen through a scientific study of all possible sites.”
Flintshire Council have confirmed that a provisional date of July 17 has been selected for a special meeting of the planning committee to discuss the J E Davies and Sons’ crematorium plans.