Developers disappointed as climate change minister calls in ‘very visible’ Caersws crematorium
Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter
Developers who want to build a Crematorium in Powys have said that they are “disappointed” that the application will be decided by the Welsh Government, but that they believe the project will stand up to the “fullest scrutiny.”
On the flip side, objectors to the development believe the call in is “good news.”
After a summer of waiting, it was confirmed earlier this month that plans by Powys Crematorium Limited to build an all-new crematorium as well as a garden of remembrance at a 13.66-hectare site north of the B4568 road at Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp will be decided in Cardiff.
Planning inspectors’ advice and recommendation will be given to a Welsh Government minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, who will make the ultimate decision.
Back in May councillors on Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee approved the proposal.
Powys County Councillor for Dolforwyn, Cllr Gareth Pugh is the sole director of Powys Crematorium Ltd and is a member of the planning committee.
When the application was discussed, he declared an interest and was not in the meeting when the decision was taken.
Project manager for Powys Crematorium Ltd Abbie Wright said: “Whilst disappointed this application has been taken out of the hands of Powys County Council, we are confident it will stand up to the fullest scrutiny when all pertinent matters are put before a planning inspector.
“We are happy to assist the Welsh Government to any extent deemed appropriate in moving this matter forward.”
Miss Wright said: “We have endeavoured to provide the people of Powys with a facility that is the best of its kind, there having been no such facility in the area previously.
“We believe combining the crematorium and green burial site within the proposed development is a highly positive aspect of the application, and an important factor in any future consideration.
“We are heartened that both the Welsh Government and ourselves as applicants share the objective of wanting Powys to be a vibrant community, offering services and amenities that are at least on a par with that available in the rest of Wales.”
Objector David Evans, who spoke against the application when it appeared in front of the planning committee said: “This is good news as it allows the considered facts to be properly listened to and judged with probity by the Welsh Government planning inspectorate.
“The reasons for not siting this development here are many, the most important being detriment to our county’s landscape, within the Caersws river basin in this very visible location for a cremation building/chimney and cars.
“The additional traffic in this farming and rural area, on winding B roads through three villages, will overwhelm and raise major safety issues.”
Welsh Government head of planning decisions, Lewis Thomas said: “In view of my assessment, the application appears to be more than local importance and consequently, it should be called in for determination.”
The decision will be made at a future date.