Crematorium ‘will protect’ valuable site, say planners

Crematorium plans
Crematorium plans

REVISED plans for Rugby and Daventry Crematorium and Cemetery were released last week, with the two councils claiming it will enhance, not damage, the landscape.

But some residents still fear the facility, which could open in summer 2013, will ruin the landscape, damage wildlife and lead to traffic problems. Currently there is a 30-mile round trip to the nearest crematorium to Rugby, with burial space quickly running out.

Plans show that the building, which could be built off Ashlawn Road behind St Andrew’s rugby club, would be surrounded by trees taller than the crematorium’s features. If built, there will be two multi-faith ceremony rooms and a large area outside for burials and ash scattering. The revised plans include more parking spaces and different ways to get on to the site.

Sean Lawson, head of environmental services at Rugby Borough Council, said: “Overall, the site will enhance what is already there. There will be more recreational space for people to use, greater biodiversity and the buildings won’t stand out from the landscape because of the trees that are already there.”

Cllr Dr Mark Williams, sustainable environment portfolio holder, added: “We would like to reassure people that having a site like this here will offer more long-term protection for the valley than if it wasn’t there. It will also help ease parking problems brought about by busy matchdays at the rugby club.”

But Richard Smith, who lives nearby the site, is not convinced it’s the right place for a crematorium.

He said: “Even though the plans have been revised I still think many people will think this is a badly thought-out proposal.

“The plans say the area will be able to cope with the traffic, but if you look at how many services other crematoriums provide each day, the council’s estimate of 1,140 cremations a year seem deeply understated, especially if the facility attracts customers from nearby towns.

“Both Ashlawn Road and Barby Road are already deemed blackspots and used by pupils of Ashlawn school. Having several corteges pass each day will just make things worse.

“Once this is built it will also be difficult for planners to turn down other developers wanting to build in the valley”.

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