Planning bosses have given proposals for a crematorium in Bierton the green light – provided changes are made to ease traffic concerns.
District councillors debated the application from Chiltern Crematorium Joint Committee – of which the council is a member – for the facility on agricultural land in Cane End Lane.
Opponents’ main concern is the impact the funeral corteges will have on traffic using Rowsham Road and the crossroads junction on the A418.
They suggested using bollards to make Rowsham Road a no-through route – which councillors have today backed, making it a condition of planning approval.
An amendment asking for a more detailed traffic report to be carried out was thrown out and the motion was passed with six in favour, two abstensions and one against.
Cllr Brian Roberts said the consortium wanted to mitigate concerns and would be willing to work in liaison with the parish councils and the community to ensure residents were happy with the plans.
When challenged over the potential smoke pollution from the crematorium, Cllr Roberts said: “I am confident the building will be fitted with a state-of-the art advanced filtration system, much like at Amersham, therefore the tall chimney is no longer required.”
During the debate, villagers voiced concerns about the effect the development could have on their mental wellbeing, saying it could cause depression or other mental illness to be reminded of death so constantly.
Another said that he had lost family members in the Holocaust and feared his Jewish friends and relatives would not come to visit.
The strategic development management committee also heard from the boss behind a rival crematorium application in Watermead.
Karen Howell from the Westerleigh Group said the Bierton plan has been rushed through ahead of their application, which will be heard at a later date. Westerleigh has previously said two new crematoriums in the Aylesbury area are unlikely – but planning officers told councillors that Watermead would be heard on its own merits.
The Chiltern Crematorium Joint looked at 53 possible sites for a crematorium, but planning officers were unable to say for sure whether Watermead was included in this.
There are also plans for a crematorium in Little Kimble.