Crematorium plan sparks concerns

Swanwick Parish Council has slammed a report on a proposed crematorium claiming it does not give “enough sound, fact-based evidence”.

Concerns were raised at a special meeting last week when the Amber Valley Borough Council report – into Memoria Ltd’s application for a new crematorium on land between Sleetmoor Lane and Old Swanwick Colliery Road – was discussed.

The parish council is now urging people with views on the scheme to make them known to the borough council before the deadline for objections on Thursday, July 12.

Cllr Gareth Hardwick said: “Existing cemeteries within the borough should have been examined to assess their suitability for expansion to include a crematorium. The weight of popular opinion within the area is evident as residents perceive that there are harmful factors to be considered... The appearance of such a development has a harmful impact upon the area... There are the perceived instances of fumes, vapours, odours, all of which build up to have a detrimental impact upon the mental and physical health and well being of nearby residential and commercial properties.”

He felt the report should have contained statistics for the throughput of existing crematoriums and information about the business’s market share, as well as referring to a 2006 report stating there was no case for a crematorium at Alfreton, the population growth, death rate and business models of all of the surrounding crematoria.

Protestors claim the site would lead to “uncontrolled urban sprawl” between Alfreton and Swanwick and that it could affect business at Thorntons Plc.

Cllr Hardwick said: “The last thing that Amber Valley needs at the present time is for trade to take a ‘hit’ and for unemployment to increase.”

The parish council also raised concerns at its latest meeting about the impartiality of consultants engaged by the borough council to compile a report on the plan.

Derek Stafford, assistant director for planning and regeneration at the council said the consultants had compiled similar crematoria assessments, on behalf of other local planning authorities. He said he was satisfied that there is no relationship between Memoria and consultants that would compromise the independence of their assessment. A spokesman for the consultants said they had never before been instructed by Memoria.