Will residents dig deep to help support fight against crematorium?

Site of the planned Watermead Crematorium, as seen from the adjacent side of the lake - pictured are Cllr Eric Rose and parish council chair Sue Severn
Site of the planned Watermead Crematorium, as seen from the adjacent side of the lake - pictured are Cllr Eric Rose and parish council chair Sue Severn

Watermead Parish Council has asked residents to reach into their pockets to help fight against crematorium plans.

Plans by developers Westerleigh to build a crematorium on the site of the Riviera restaurant have been approved by Aylesbury Vale District Council. And a judicial review backed by the parish council costing £27,400 from its legal budget was recently thrown out. Westerleigh say that the council should just give up and accept defeat, saving local taxpayers further losses.

But leader Sue Severn and her team want to pay for more action, by increasing residents’ council tax by around £2.37 a month per Band D household.

The council will host two day-long public consultation sessions on April 1 and 8 at the village hall where people can come to air their views.

Mrs Severn said: “We’ve got leading planning counsel and their advice is that we have a good chance of winning.”

She said Watermead was deemed the most inappropriate site of ten when the team behind the proposed Bierton crematorium were conducting research.

“We remain absolutely determined that this is totally the wrong place for a crematorium and we have not had any conversations about mitigation. The overwhelming majority of parishioners who have contacted us so far have been supportive of us continuing to take action.

“Bierton was the first site approved for a crematorium and received widespread public consultation. Watermead is for everyone to use and enjoy, we have been told that the balloons which use the site would be unable to fly anymore because of the heat.”

The council says that Watermead has nothing to gain from the crematorium, and that traffic from a single access road that is also used by the estate would be intolerable.

Councillor Eric Rose, said: “The consultation is to ensure that we have the support of our local residents.

“We need to know that people agree with further action.”