Crematorium plan to go to appeal

Protesters against the proposed Swanwick crematorium site.

Protesters against the proposed Swanwick crematorium site.

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Refused plans for a crematorium on protected land at Swanwick will be decided by the Planning Inspectorate - after developers appealed.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s planning board turned down the bid by Memoria Ltd for a 7.6 acre site between Sleetmoor Lane and the Thornton’s factory in Somercotes in 
November.

Councillors said the plans did not warrant the loss of vital countryside - and the developers should have sought to build the crematorium, which could host up to 1,300 services a year, in a more built up area.

But Memoria says the site needs to be located in a ‘peaceful setting’ and said the council was wrong to refuse the bid on those grounds.

Campaigners against the plans say they are prepared to fight the appeal.

John Briggs, of Derby Road, said: “We expected that they would appeal and we have got a strategy in place.

“We put together a very good case against it when they first lodged a planning application.”

More than 600 people signed a petition against the plans and Swanwick Parish Council lodged an objection to it last year. Several residents also turned out to oppose the plans at a planning board hearing in November.

This week parish councillor Gareth Hardwick said: “I only hope at the appeal hearing the inspector respects the planning boards’ original majority decision and the appeal is turned down, to the benefit of Swanwick residents opposed against such a controversial development.”

A date is yet to be set for an informal hearing, in which Amber Valley Borough Council will be expected to defend its decision to refuse the plan.