Crematorium developer concerned at council’s ‘very odd’ logic

Plan showing where proposed crematorium would be sited in Watermead
Plan showing where proposed crematorium would be sited in Watermead

The developers behind a proposed crematorium at Watermead have expressed concern over a potential conflict of interest for Aylesbury Vale District Council.

The Westerleigh Group submitted a plan to build a new crematorium on the site of the Riviera restaurant just a week after proposals for another crematorium in Bierton – put forward by a consortium including AVDC – were proposed.

The group say they are concerned that the district council’s planning committee are allowed to decide on the plans.

The company’s managing director Richard Evans has said that council officers had previously advised them to find a site within the town.

He said: “We were guided by the council to look for a brown field site which had been previously developed.

“That is why we have opted to regenerate the land at Watermead which was previously the site of an Indian restaurant and dry ski slope.

“It seems very odd that the council thinks it is OK for it to build in open countryside, while telling other developers that they should not.”

In a statement the district council said: “The council did not explicitly propose that such a use was only acceptable on a brownfield location, but was responding to the applicant about the general acceptability of the site at Watermead.

“The need for a new crematorium to cater for the growth needs of Aylesbury was identified at the Local Development Framework consultation stage in 2007.

“A site to the north of the town was considered to be the preferred option, to take into account where other crematoriums were located.

“Any application for a new crematorium will be considered in the light of development plan policies, all material considerations including government advice, technical advice and if appropriate public comment.”

It is expected that only one crematorium will be built after both applications have been determined.