Crematorium building work is ‘at own risk’

A sign against the proposed crematorium at Watermead
A sign against the proposed crematorium at Watermead

Work has begun on the Watermead crematorium, but parish council chiefs say that developers are doing so ‘at their own risk’.

Watermead Parish Council recently enlisted the help of residents to raise funds to appeal against planning permission for the crematorium, which is being built by developers Westerleigh.

This week a spokesman for Westerleigh confirmed that work had begun, with the crematorium billed to start operating in 2017.

But parish councillor Eric Rose said that any move by Westerleigh to begin work, when the forthcoming appeal could throw out the scheme, could prove foolish.

He said: “We are still waiting for the court of appeal to list it for hearing.

“Apparently there is a bit of backlog.

“Effectively if Westerleigh are going ahead, they are going ahead at their own risk, and may have to stop work, like after they appealed against the Bierton crematorium decision.”

But one resident, who does not wish to be named said that when agreeing to foot the bill for the appeal, householders were told that it would stop the works from starting.

They said: “We were implicitly told by parish councillors at the consultation when deciding whether to further contribute financially to fighting the crematorium that the appeal was part of a wider plan to stop Westerleigh starting works.

“Under questioning a group of us were told they would not be able to start work until the appeal was heard which could have meant the Bierton works progressing and Westerleigh deciding it would not be viable to go ahead with the Watermead one.

“Then lo and behold fences are up and works are under way with no appeal hearing in sight.”