Crematorium must be rejected

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Planning application DC/12/1092 for a new crematorium at West Grinstead should be rejected outright for the following reasons.

1. This new application is exactly the same as the one DC/11/0783 refused by Horsham District Council last year with the exception of the removal of a manager’s house. The reasons for the rejection are still as valid today as then.

This is a greenfield woodland site not suitable for an industrial commercial development business and and would be contrary to Policy CP1 and CP15 of the Horsham District Local Development Framework Core Strategy (2007) and DC1 and DC2 of the Horsham District Council Local Development Framework: General Development Control Policies (2007).

2. No realistic proven need has been submitted to support the application and statistical information provided is subject to query. The nearest crematoriums at Findon and Crawley are at present under-utilised and more than adequate to cover future needs including allowances for an expanding and ageing population.

Chichester crematorium will have more spare capacity shortly because of the opening of the new Portsmouth crematorium. An expansion of a new sector of choice provided by internet funeral arrangements will further reduce local demand being attractive on a pricing basis for people who have no particular preference to be located locally. These cremations can be carried out hundreds of miles away and the ashes returned if the customers so wish.

3. The proposed crematorium will not as claimed bring any employment to the area with only three full time and three part timers being employed and because of the specialist nature of the work it is unlikely that these will be locals.

4. The site is too small and the parking provisions are inadequate and make no allowance for visitors arriving for later cremations or staying on to use the catering facilities mentioned.

Funerals can stack up with people arriving early for later cremations and not leaving immediately after the service they have come to attend. There is no off-site parking on the busy A272 and the only alternative will be for people to park in local residents’ drive ways causing friction.

5. There is no public transport to this site so people without cars will be dependent on getting lifts or using costly taxis. This will cause difficuties for the elderly in particular.

6. The discharge of polluting agents such has CO2 and mercury from the chimney stacks is not denied by the applicants who say this will be strictly controlled and that accidents do not happen. The fact that there will be some discharges should only cause the rejection of this application.

How can permission be given when you have the Orchard Restaurant and its outdoor garden eating area as the nearest building and sitting areas to the discharging stacks?

They are situated within the recommended minimum 200 yards radius safety zone. Within the zone is also located the West Grinstead station information coach and picnic areas. Who would want to eat meals and have drinks in full view of a crematorium? The Downs Link is also in full view of the site and this is supposed to be an area for relaxation!

7. The highway access off the A272 will be inadequate for this well known traffic black spot with traffic for the Orchard Restaurant, Station Yard, Salmon Shop, King and Stevens, and Park Lane, all converging.

The proposed traffic sight lines do not meet statutory conditions and this together with the speed of traffic at this point will mean accidents will be unavoidable once funeral corteges and visitors cars are added to the existing traffic.

8. No details have been given as to how the site will be illuminated nor what signage is proposed along the A272 to direct mourners to the site.

G.J. MARTIN

Cowfold Road, West Grinstead