Developers ‘Westerleigh’ accused of ‘land-grabbing’ by Watermead Parish Council

Watermead Parish Council have their say on the crematorium row
Watermead Parish Council have their say on the crematorium row

Watermead parish councillors have objected to what they believe to be an attempted land grab and underhand tactics by Crematoria Management Ltd, generally known as Westerleigh, the owners of the intended crematorium.

The parish council have alleged that an employee at the crematorium has leaked it should be open in about two weeks time, this despite it not being granted full planning permission yet by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Parish council vice-chairman Adrian Schwab said: “We are tired of the irresponsible and bullying actions of Westerleigh.

“They have attempted to intimidate parish councillors by suggesting huge financial penalties might ensue for doing their job, they have falsely tried to imply that the parish council was responsible for vandalism and now they are brazenly trying to take over land which belongs to the people of Watermead.” The parish council accused Westerleigh of cutting grounds belonging to Watermead Parish Council.

They added: “In addition, they now appear set to open a crematorium which still does not have valid planning permission.

“We are calling on Aylesbury Vale District Council to ensure that this is not allowed to happen.”

Responding to this, a statement from Westerleigh said: “Westerleigh have no intention to trespass on the parish council’s land.

“We have simply been maintaining the grounds and we apologise if one of our gardeners has inadvertently strayed whilst mowing the lawn by the entrance. “However, we cannot find evidence of wrongdoing on our part so we are surprised at the complaint.”

Westerleigh went on to express their disapointment that Central Government had not yet rubber stamped the planning permission.

They added: “It is disappointing that Government have not yet rubber stamped the planning permission we gained from Aylesbury Vale District council some six weeks ago.

“This was, of course, the second time that our scheme has been approved.

“The delay does mean bereaved families from Aylesbury have not been able to hold a funeral in their own town.

“We had another request last week where the lady’s dying wish was to have the funeral at Watermead and no-one can understand why bureaucracy is stopping them.”