New crematorium site set to be refused

PROPOSALS for a new £3 million crematorium to cope with the growing number of cremations in the county are set to be refused, it was revealed today.While planners accept there will be a need for extra facilities in the years ahead, they do not believe there is an over-riding case for building in the countryside and axing precious woodland.

PROPOSALS for a new £3 million crematorium to cope with the growing number of cremations in the county are set to be refused, it was revealed today.

While planners accept there will be a need for extra facilities in the years ahead, they do not believe there is an over-riding case for building in the countryside and axing precious woodland.

East Suffolk Crematorium Company Limited has put forward plans for a 17-acre site at Porter's Covert at Seven Hills, Nacton.

The site was previously suggested for a crematorium twice before, the last plan refused by government ministers nine years ago.

Ipswich Borough Council, and parish councils at Nacton and Levington have objected to the latest proposal.

A report from Suffolk Coastal's planning department said: “There will, it is acknowledged, be a need for additional crematorium capacity in east Suffolk over the next few years.

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“This could be of the order of 500/750 additional cremations by 2010. The argument by the applicants in respect of a potential shortfall of over 1,000 cremations by 2007 is considered to be an over estimate.”

Officers say there are problems at Ipswich Crematorium because of the lack of space on site, and these may be made worse by increasing usage.

An additional crematorium would give greater customer choice in terms of times/days for cremations and the quality of the facilities.

“The question remains, however, have the applicants proven a case for an over-riding need which would be sufficient to set aside a raft of policies designed to protect the countryside for its own sake and to preserve woodland habitats?” said the report.

“In this case it is not considered that the applicants have put forward a sufficiently strong case to set aside the relevant development plan policies. There will, it is considered, be a need for additional crematorium capacity but not at the level suggested.”

The council's south area development control sub committee will discuss the Porter's Covert plans on March 2 and is recommended to refuse them.

Levington council has several concerns but is very worried about access to the site. While the A14/A12 is just yards away, it believes access onto the A1156 will be dangerous.

It also fears it will become more difficult to use the A1156, encouraging drivers to take a rat-run through Levington and Nacton.

What do you think of the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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