Watermead crematorium will go ahead after parish council’s High Court appeal falls on deaf ears

Map showing proposed Watermead crematorium
Map showing proposed Watermead crematorium

A judicial review of plans to build a crematorium at Watermead has found in favour of developers.

Watermead Parish Council won permission for the High Court review in November.

It challenged a decision by Aylesbury Vale District Council to grant developers Westerleigh, permission to build the facility in the village.

The parish council argued that the development was wrong for the area, and that, as Bierton has also been named as site of a forthcoming crematorium, two was too many for the locality.

But on Friday the High Court found in favour of Westerleigh, meaning that the crematorium will go ahead.

Richard Evans, managing director of crematorium developers the Westerleigh Group, said:

“We are pleased that the court has dismissed the attempt to stop our development at Watermead.

“We are determined to now press on with our plans to regenerate this brownfield site and finally provide this much needed crematorium for the people of Aylesbury.

“We are looking forward to providing the highest standards of funeral care to bereaved families from Aylesbury and the surrounding area.”

He added: “We continue to challenge the council’s decision to allow a second crematorium to be built at Bierton. There is no demand for two new crematoria in the Aylesbury area and there are legitimate public highway concerns which have not been addressed by those promoting the Bierton development.”

A spokesman for Watermead Parish Council said: “Watermead Parish Council is naturally disappointed with Judge Waksman’s judgement, but remains convinced that this is an appalling planning decision.

“It places a crematorium in the heart of leisure and recreation land fully visible to all.

“The Watermead proposal was the second one for Aylesbury. 

“Bierton is the original, much-needed and agreed single crematorium previously planned, with full consultation, for Aylesbury.  

“Bierton Crematorium has received planning permission, twice.  On both occasions Westerleigh has challenged this permission in the High Court.  Whether or not two crematoria are required is irrelevant in planning terms.  This was made clear to Westerleigh at the Planning Committee, AVDC, at which the second Bierton application was approved.” 

They added: “Westerleigh has raised concerns in its press statement about highways in Bierton, all of which have been satisfactorily dealt with.

“There are serious highway concerns in respect of the Watermead site.  These were raised in all Watermead’s responses to the planning application and beyond, and we are still not satisfied.  This development would cause more congestion at peak times and throughout the day.”