Date Published: 05 May 2020
An appeal by developers to build a crematorium between Haddington and Thurlby has been dismissed by the Planning Inspectorate.
The plan to build the facility, on land west of Haddington Lane, was submitted to North Kesteven District Council in November 2018.
Applicant South Lincolnshire Estates Ltd said there was demand for a new crematorium, which would have included a 110-seat chapel, car park, a loop road and remembrance gardens, to serve the wider area and create extra capacity.
However at a meeting of North Kesteven District Council’s planning committee in March 2019, councillors agreed with the recommendation by officers that the plan be refused, on the basis that need for it in the area could not be proven and its location was not suitable.
South Lincolnshire Estates Ltd later appealed against the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.
Now, following evidence submitted by all parties and a hearing, the Inspectorate has dismissed the appeal and ruled out the development.
North Kesteven District Council Leader, Councillor Richard Wright, said: “We know community facilities like these are incredibly important, however the benefits of this particular plan did not outweigh a number of issues including that the area it proposed to serve is within reasonable reach of other facilities and nor was the location suitable.
“This was a complex appeal with many factors to consider, and it’s clear the Planning Inspectorate took time to weigh up all available evidence and make this careful and considered decision.”
The Inspectorate recognised that tranquil and attractive surroundings are important factors for a crematorium and the single-storey facility would not impact on the agricultural use of the fields around the site. He however found that it would interrupt the character and continuity of the countryside and a site elsewhere would be better suited, especially if closer to residents and sustainable methods of transport.
The Inspectorate ruled that the crematorium would provide some rural employment, but would not be linked to the rural economy in the immediate area or be close enough to existing businesses for them to gain extra trade.
There were also material considerations, including evidence of need for a crematorium. The applicant argued that there was a ‘triangulation of need’, based on demand on the nearest crematorium in Lincoln and a lack of crematorium for Newark-on-Trent and the Sleaford area.
The Inspectorate however found that, of residents who would have been served by the new crematorium, those in Newark and around the A46 would only benefit marginally from better driving times while others would already be within acceptable journey times of Lincoln.
The Inspectorate also recognised the service now provided by the newly built Lea Fields crematorium near Gainsborough, and work planned at Lincoln Crematorium to refurbish its chapel and build a second chapel - placing confidence in operator the City of Lincoln Council in delivering this.
The full decision notice can be found here: https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewCase.aspx?caseid=3236497