THE man behind one of two rival crematorium bids believes the public is now on his side.
Edward Davies, owner of J E Davies and Sons, who has applied to build a crematorium on land at Starkey Lane, claims people who may have objected to his plan in the past are now supportive.
His comments came as a Facebook group supporting Mr Davies’ plans ‘Say YES to Flintshire Crematorium’ passed the 2,000 mark.
He said people were realising his site was the best option after a rival bid was submitted by Memoria Ltd for land between Kelsterton Lane, Oakenholt Lane and Mold Road, near Northop.
This lies two miles away from J E Davies’ suggested site.
Mr Davies said: “The Facebook site in support of the Starkey Lane application has reached over 2,000 members now which shows the public support is for ours.
“It’s nice to see so many people coming out and supporting our application.
“Since the other application has gone in, I think people have realised that ours is the best option.
“People are realising that our location would have less impact on the local area.”
Jamieson Hodgson, business development manager at Memoria, admitted a lot of residents near the site may support the J E Davies application but argued their plan was more suitable in planning terms.
He said: “As a result of the fact that we have got people that obviously will live nearer to our site, he is bound to have more supporters of his site because of the nature of the site being where it is.
“Our site is never going to be 100 per cent popular but I’d say it doesn’t change the fact that his site is on a restricted green barrier site.
“It’s difficult for us as an out-of-area group. He’s able to say ‘I’m the local man’ but that doesn’t change the planning issues.”
Mr Hodgson said he hoped both applications would be considered together, so the advantages and disadvatages of both sites could be properly compared.
The consultation period for the Memoria application came to an end on Thursday and Mr Davies said hopes that will pave the way for his application to be considered.
A Flintshire Council spokesman said: “It was resolved at the July meeting of the council’s planning and development control committee that the J.E. Davies & Son application be considered at a special planning committee as soon as possible.
“This remains the intention – although no date has as yet been set.”
The Memoria application was still in the consultation stage last week and will be reported to committee for determination when they have sufficient information to fully assess it, the spokesman added.
Again, they added no date has been set for this determination.
Earlier this month, Northop Hall Community Council came out in favour of the J E Davies proposal while objecting to the rival plan submitted by Memoria Ltd.
Blueprints for the J E Davies project, which would see the 10-acre crematorium built on a 23-acre site off Starkey Lane, Northop, were first unveiled in July last year.
Currently bereaved families have to travel to either Blacon Crematorium in Chester, Pentrebychan Crematorium in Wrexham or Colwyn Bay.
Opponents say the J E Davies proposal would result in a significant increase in traffic, impacting the community and potentially harming the ecology of the area.
See full story in the Leader