Scoulton crematorium plans get go-ahead for third time

A concept design for the new crematorium in Scoulton, which has been given planning permission for a

A concept design for the new crematorium in Scoulton, which has been given planning permission for a third time by Breckland Council. - Credit: Archant

A new crematorium has been granted planning permission by a district council for the third time.

Proposals for the facility in Scoulton, near Hingham, were first submitted in 2014 and have since been approved twice by Breckland Council.

However both permissions were overturned following High Court challenges – the most recent of which was in June.

The application from Thornalley Funeral Services for a crematorium off the B1108 Norwich Road was unanimously approved by the district council planning committee yesterday following a further ecological survey.

Erica Whittingsteel, whose complaints about the application led to its second judicial review, spoke against it at yesterday's meeting.

As a planning consultant with more than 20 years' experience, Mrs Whittingsteel said her concerns were not just those of 'an aggrieved neighbour'.

'It does not accord with the development plan, it is the wrong development in the wrong place and it should never had been approved.

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'I have become a nominated objector for the area as I know what I'm talking about – these are not just my views but the views of the wider community.'

Mrs Whittingsteel is concerned that the effect on air quality has not been properly assessed and that there were inconsistencies in how development policy was applied to the application.

Since December 2014 almost 200 local representations objecting to the application have been submitted to the council, and Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan have also written to express their concerns.

However local funeral director Chapmans Funeral Services and the Rural Dean of Breckland welcomed a new crematorium as 'good news for bereaved families' who would no longer have to travel to facilities as far afield as King's Lynn or Bury St Edmunds.

Nathan Rollings, of Thornalley Funeral Services, said: 'We are happy the application has been approved. We are looking forward to being able to progress the project and bring this much needed service to the residents of Breckland.'

Conditions were added to the application requiring the new road access to be built and for another ecological survey to take place before construction begins on the site.

Mrs Whittingsteel said she and her husband are taking legal advice before deciding whether to submit another challenge to the permission.

Meanwhile Dignity Funeral Services are said to be compiling an application for an alternative site.

What do you think of the plans? Email bethany.whymark@archant.co.uk

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