Planners unanimously reject plan for Cromer crematorium

How the Cromer crematorium could look. How the Cromer crematorium could look.

Friday, June 13, 2014
11:44 AM

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

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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

17 comments

  • Nicola Aylin-Split hairs why don't you? The use of an unused 'part' of the cemetery isn't the end of the world. Whilst some people still choose to be buried, which in reality is an unnecessary and wasteful use of land, there are plenty more who prefer cremation. Whatever, your moral or religious viewpoint is the remains of the dead have to be disposed of! Unless the ashes of a person who is cremated are given to their relatives to dispose of elsewhere then it is usual for the ashes to be interred at the crematorium. Why are you suggesting that the view of a crematorium is so offensive that it needs shielded from site?

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    Bad Form

    Sunday, June 15, 2014

  • Badform A crematorium next to the cemetary is exactly what the dissenters were asking for. The planners wanted to put it in the cemetary.

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    Nicola Aylin

    Saturday, June 14, 2014

  • Unfortunately, too many people around here do not want to see change of any kind and will happily have everything the same - even though, the benefits would be enormous. And as for the ridiculous comment by Julie Davies - haven't heard of anyone complaining about the cars being parked over the graves in the churchyard in the centre of town -or the dogs that are walked there and use the area as a toilet.

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    Tinkerbell

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Nicola Aylin There is a crem of significant size at Gorleston that does a service about every half hour. There are many burials on the same site as well as places set aside for ashes. A quieter place you would not want. To decribe a crem that does 8 a day as being industrial is rather gilding the lilly and you are not looking at the bigger picture in that north Norfolk needs a crem. To keep on having to travelling to Kings Lynn or St Faiths is not fair on the locals. I am afraid to say you will lose on appeal.

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    BG

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • It is a sad day when people wish to stifle dissent by suggesting that those who don't agree with their own views are trolls! At the end of the day I can't think of a better site for a crematorium than being located with a cemetery? I do wonder though, if the sensibilities of those people objecting to a crematorium being located near to the cemetery at the top of Holt Road have ever felt any pangs of guilt about the lack of care and respect given to the older derelict cemetery on Holt Road, near to Argos? After all many of the people who were buried there deserved better from the town than to allow it to become the overgrown mess it is today. Hypocrisy, it seems, has no bounds?

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    Bad Form

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • TooManyNimbies: If you had read the proposal Westerliegh do not actually cremate the bodies while you wait 2.5hrs, they promise to cremate them "within 24 hrs". They can run the furnaces 24 hrs. So yes they can easily do 8 per day. That Westerleigh refused to accept ANY limitations on how many cremations they could do tells you all you need to know.

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    Nicola Aylin

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • This isn't anything to do with nimbyism. The objectors put forward a proposal that the crematorium be sited in the adjacent woodland because there was not room in the cemetary to screen it from the rest of the graves. Westerleigh refused. Not one person went to the meeting and spoke in favour of the crematorium being sited in the cemetary other than Westerleigh. I think you are all trolls firing insults online at people who care about Cromer and its planning but are too lazy to get up and out and do anything about it.

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    Nicola Aylin

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • To back up Bad Form's point I can confirm that anyone who has ever had to make the journey to St Faith's at breakneck speed to avoid missing the booked slot (Funeral Director's miscalculation) on a dank and cold late November afternoon could only see the provision of a more local facility as a boon to all. It does seem that N Norfolk councillors are hell-bent on refusing permission to anything that could be construed as "progress".

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    Chris Booty

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Whatever your views on an afterlife the dead need to be disposed of and cremation is the most effective and least problematic way of doing so. It beggars belief that if you die in North Norfolk your friends and relatives have to make an unnecessary and in many cases stressful journey to the outskirts of Norwich to have the process completed. Most of the lifeboat and fishermen I know are pragmatic characters who don't or wouldn't like the idea that their mortal remains are, or would be, used as a reason to deny the friends and relatives of other local people the option of being cremated near to the place where they had once lived. Unfortunately, the argument put forward by Julie Davies that her late husband and other deceased lifeboat men would object to other local people having the right to be cremated near to where they once lived seems a wee bit hypocritical?

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    Bad Form

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Oh nimbie objector it really is true that you see what you look for. Are you suggesting that applause is a " terrible display of behaviour" or did you see something that others were not privy too. I was there, I applauded and am unwilling to apologise for it. Sadly applauding seems to be the only way to get your feelings heard when it comes to planning. If you were there you also heard that the publics opinion counts for nothing. When the legal guy was asking for reasons for turning down the application it became apparent that as the experts on the panel were unwilling to back up the view of almost everyone else in that meeting it would not take a psychic to predict that there will be an appeal and the same problem will probably mean the crematorium application is approved. But that will not be because its a good idea,or is in a good position or will not have a detrimental affect on those who live near by. What it will mean is Highways and co who sat on the panel unmoved by the evidence have refused to see what did not suit their decision. We do need a crematorium, but we also need it to be positioned in a suitable place. Also I think I might inadvertently belong to the "I want a roundabout club" I agree that some members of that unofficial club behave in an unsavory and spoilt manor but not all who believe that felbrigg junction needs a roundabout conduct themselves in the same way, it is unfair to bunch us all together. I believe the real baddies of this situation are those so called experts who recommended approval of the application, their views and evidence bore very little resemblance to reality. Highways seem to be a law unto themselves, despite government legislation encouraging them to listen to local feelings and needs when making decisions.

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    Lorraine

    Friday, June 13, 2014

  • Whatever reasons it was rejected for, the main one for me would have been sheer naff-ness, going by the accompaning picture. The thing looks like a TOWIE summerhouse. What is that portico business held up with-enormous candles?

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    backwoodsman

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • More expensive legal battles that the council will lose. Money is tight as it is. Obviously an election coming.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • I have been following this application over the last few months and NNDC have refused something that is much needed for this area. I attended the meeting this morning, sitting quietly at the back and was appalled at the rabble of objectors. I have never seen such a terrible display of behaviour in a council meeting in my life. I also have to add that I was asked to object and I cannot believe the lies that were spread by the "we want a roundabout club" - originally it was 15 cremations a day and now the Nimbys have lowered their figure to 8 cremations a day. Read the plans you morons - it has one furnace and it apparently takes around 2 to 2 and a half hours to cremate a body; now do the maths. The entire anti mob has done nothing but scaremonger. I wonder if the decision would have been different if the application was on one of the local landowner's property. My concern is that there will be an appeal, the appeal will be won as there are no possible objections and the council will once again end up spending £100,000's of Council Tax like they did with Tesco. Never mind, I bet their allowances will go up though. There must be council elections due in the next year probably.....

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    TooManyNimbies

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • This article is factually incorrect and misleading. I was at the meeting this morning. There is no "site next to and north of Cromer Cemetery" it is a fantasy, there is only the cemetary. The proposal was to site the crematorium on cemetary grounds that had not been used to bury people in yet. The proposal was rejected ultimately because an industrial facility holding 8 cremations a day which was not screened from the rest of the cemetary would destroy the ambience as a quiet place where people buried family members and remembered them and would limit grave space for people in future years. The real problem is the cemetary grounds are not big enough to accomodate both and adequately screen them. I am wondering if the reporter even attended the meeting.

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    Nicola Aylin

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • I presume they aren't actually going to remove the existing cemetery ,so I cannot see what the problem is, building work will not take for ever and most crematoriums have nicely landscaped surroundings .there is a definate need for another crem in north norfolk , and BG is correct about the bill,still not the councillors money why should they care ?

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    Reader

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • More tax payers money being wasted. The appeal will succeed and NNDC will be left with an enormous legal bill to pay. Usual, " not in my back garden," approach to decision making by certain councillors.

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    BG

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

  • It's difficult to comprehend the planning decisions of the council. Just look around at some of the monstrosities they have sanctioned and the over-supply of supermarkets. Maybe you only get permission if you are the right owner of land? Who knows?

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    weaversway

    Thursday, June 12, 2014

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