Campaigners given hope as Eric Pickles intervenes over Watermead crematorium plan

Eric Pickles
Eric Pickles

Proposals for a crematorium in Watermead which were given the green light by Aylesbury Vale District Council could now be decided by Eric Pickles.

Mr Pickles, the secretary of state for communities and local government, has written to AVDC directing them not to give full planning permission to the scheme until he has had a chance to look at the plans.

He could then decide to determine the application himself and potentially over-rule the council.

A letter from his department to the council’s planning department states: “The Secretary of State hereby directs your Council not to grant permission on this application without specific authorisation. This direction is issued to enable him to consider whether he should direct under Section 77 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 that the application should be referred to him for determination.”

The crematorium, on land currently owned by the Riviera restaurant, was given the green light by district councillors in December, subject to technical details being finalised.

Campaigners said they feared increased flooding and traffic while there was also concerns about pollution coming from the crematorium.

It was also argued that a crematorium, proposed by specialist firm Westerleigh, was not needed as one in Bierton had recently been given planning permission – although planning officers said each application must be judged on its own merits.

More as we get it.