Rival crematorium bid tabled for Flintshire


David Humphreys

A FUNERAL firm has lodged an application to build a crematorium less than two miles from an existing rival plan, the Leader understands.
After months of speculation, Memoria Ltd has applied to build at a site near Northop, Flintshire Council said.
After saying the exact location of the Memoria application would be kept under wraps for another week, the council yesterday confirmed the site for the alternative crematorium application is on land between Kelsterton Lane, Oakenholt Lane and Mold Road, near Northop.
Memoria’s planning application was lodged on Tuesday and the site is about 1.7 miles from an existing highly-controversial application for land off Starkey Lane in Northop, submitted by a rival funeral company.
County councillors Paul Shotton and Andy Dunbobbin told the Leader they had been told as local members that the new application was for the land at Northop, which borders the Kelsterton area of their Golftyn ward.
Cllr Shotton said: “We were consulted as local members for Golftyn and were told an application had come in for the Northop area.”
Memoria’s business development director Jamieson Hodgson said the company had found a site that was “workable”.
“We want to do everything by the book, we don’t want to upset anyone,” he said.
“We’re trying to be as sensitive as possible about this.
“We believe we have found a site that works from an operational perspective.”
An existing application for a crematorium submitted by J. E. Davies and Sons is currently being considerd by Flintshire Council. That application is for green barrier land.
Last week a bullish statement from Mr Hodgson said its application was “clearly preferable” to J. E. Davies and Sons’ plan, as it was outside the green barrier.
Edward Davies, of J. E. Davies and Sons said his application was “right for Flintshire” and was unconcerned by the rival bid.
The news comes days after questions were raised at a council meeting about how much some Flintshire county councillors knew in advance about Memoria’s intentions.
Concerns were raised when Northop councillor Marion Bateman asked if a rival application to build a crematorium on another site was submitted before June 26, and if so it  should be considered together with the J. E. Davies and Son’s bid.
Some councillors said that amounted to encouraging rival bids, which may influence the council’s handling of the J. E. Davies and Sons application.
Cllr Bateman said there was no reason why she chose the June 26 date.
Blueprints for the J. E. Davies and Sons’ project, which would see a 10-acre crematorium built on a 23-acre site off Starkey Lane, were first unveiled in July last year.
Last November Northop community councillors announced they would not support the plan, citing the weight of public opinion as a major factor in their decision.
Bereaved families currently have to travel to either Blacon Crematorium in Chester, Pentrebycham Crematorium near Wrexham or Colwyn Bay for cremations.

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