Alternative sites found in quest for crematorium

Reporter:

David Humphreys

ALTERNATIVE locations are being considered to house a proposed controversial crematorium.

A total of three different locations are under discussion with Flintshire Council planning officers as potential homes for the much debated Flintshire crematorium.

Sites in Oakenholt, Kelsterton and Penyffordd are being considered as alternatives to the 23-acre site off Starkey Lane, near Northop, purchased by funeral director and crematorium proposer Edward Davies.

Mr Davies has submitted a planning application for the Northop site to the council, which is yet to be considered by planners.

The Northop site has been the subject of a long standing campaign of objection from the ‘No 2 Northop Crem’ campaign member.

Steve Petter, of the group, has welcomed the council’s decision to assess other locations.

He said: “We haven’t got a problem with the crematorium, but it needs to be in the right place. I understand new sites are being looked at – which we have wanted all along.

“This is good as we are trying to stress the site chosen is on green barrier land and isn’t the most appropriate.

“Assessing the new sites would the most sensible approach, no doubt.”

Flintshire Council head of planning, Andrew Farrow, said alternate sites had been discussed.

He said: “We can confirm we are considering the other sites. However, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Applicant Mr Davies said he was still confident his development will be approved when it goes before Flintshire Council’s planning committee.

He said: “I understand there’s been a thorough site search and the council have been fine with it.

“Northop is still the best site, we’ve assessed all the locations across Flintshire.

“The crematorium needs to be in the centre of Flintshire, serve all of Flintshire and have good road links with the A55.

“Our own search was conducted in a scientific way to prove it was in the right position. It’s also the site that would least affect the village of Northop.”

In November, Northop Community Council decided not to support plans. But the proposed crematorium has received backing from some quarters, including Flint councillor Alex Aldridge and Flint rector the Rev Brian Harvey.

Cllr Aldridge accused opposers of plans for the crematorium of “nimbyism” and said families should not have to travel to another county to lay relatives to rest.

Mr Harvey said the lack of a crematorium in Flintshire added to the grief of those forced to travel long distances to the funerals of loved ones.

But the ‘No 2 Northop Crem’ group have argued the development is not suitable as it is on green barrier land.

See full story in the Leader

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