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Planners unanimously reject plan for Cromer crematorium

PUBLISHED: 11:44 13 June 2014 | UPDATED: 11:51 13 June 2014

How the Cromer crematorium could look.

How the Cromer crematorium could look.

Archant

An application for a crematorium on the outskirts of Cromer has been turned down after planning councillors unanimously rejected their officers’ advice.

Loud applause rang out in North Norfolk District Council’s (NNDC) packed chamber this morning when development committee members voted to refuse Westerleigh’s application, despite a recommendation to approve it.

Westerleigh wants to build a 1.71 hectare development with car park and chapel on a site next to and north of Cromer Cemetery off the A148 Holt Road, on the Cromer Ridge and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

But councillors were warned by NNDC’s planning legal manager, Roger Howe, that some of their objections would not be defensible on planning grounds if Westerleigh appealed against refusal.

These included fears that the scheme would lead to a large increase in traffic around the already-busy Felbrigg junction of the A148 with the B1346 since Norfolk County Council’s Highways Department had not raised any objections to the application.

Councillors eventually listed their objections as the cumulative harm caused by the crematorium’s impact, over development of the site, inadequate landscaping, and disturbance - described by Michael Baker as “an industrial process” - to the “sacred ground of the cemetery”

They are also calling on the county council to carry out improvements at the Felbrigg junction as a “matter of high priority.”

In an emotional speech, Julie Davies, widow of former Cromer lifeboat coxswain Richard Davies, said her husband, generations of his family and lifeboat hero Henry Blogg were all buried in the cemetery.

“They worked tirelessly to protect our sailors. Some lost their lives to do so,” said Mrs Davies.

“I think they have earned the right to rest in peace.”

After the meeting Adrian Britton, of Westerleigh, said he was disappointed and they would be lodging an appeal.

■ What do you think? Write to EDP letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norfolk NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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