August 1 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, June 12, 2014
A crematorium scheme at Cromer is set to get the go-ahead today when it goes before planning councillors.
Opponents have raised concerns about extra funeral traffic on a road where there are already safety concerns.
Officers however say the impact would be low and does not justify refusal – though they will seek £4,000 from the developers towards road improvements.
The project is next to the town cemetery, close to other ongoing plans for a woodland burial site, which is also on the development committee agenda – but earmarked for deferral because a tree survey and woodland management plan requested by officers have not yet been received by North Norfolk District Council.
The crematorium plan was first brought before the district council development committee in April and was recommended for approval, but planners voted to defer the application.
Committee members had asked for both schemes to be considered together – and for both developers to meet to discuss a possible shared site.
But the report to the committee says David Oliver, the man behind the woodland site, was “not supportive of relocating the crematorium on to their land.” And the crematorium backers –Westerleigh – saw no reason to abandon their plans as there was no reason to refuse the scheme on the table.
Objections had also been raised about the development’s position in an Area of Oustanding Natural Beauty.
Slightly-amended plans have moved the crematorium building 7m to the west to provide more room for landscaping along the northern boundary – allowing for an 8m rather than a 4m-deep screen.
The report says a roundabout on the A149 junction with the Felbrigg road would cost £300,000 to £500,000.
Highways officers say the impact of extra crematorium traffic would only be 1 to 1.5pc so any cash contribution by the authority to a road scheme would be low.
Councillors will be recommended to give officers power to approve the crematorium subject to conditions including seeking £4,000 towards a roundabout.
And if councillors approve the recommendation, a 1.71 hectare development with a car park and 90-seat chapel will be built on the site to the north of Cromer Cemetery.
The development is aimed to prevent friends and relatives from being forced to travel to Norwich to cremate their loved ones.
But more than 460 people as well as the National Trust have objected to the proposal, due to its location in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The woodland burial scheme has attracted 186 public representations to the council - including 72 objecting, and 99 letters and a 204-name petition in support.
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