Politician’s fears over Bierton crematorium traffic

Bierton crematorium plan PNL-140503-094834001
Bierton crematorium plan PNL-140503-094834001

A Bierton councillor has warned of the traffic chaos that could be caused if a proposed crematorium is built in the village.

The Chilterns Crematorium Joint Committee has put forward plans for the facility, which could carry out as many as 1,000 funerals a year.

The proposed site is Cane End Lane, in north Bierton and close to the Hulcott crossroads junction.

But Julie Ward, Lib Dem district councillor for Bierton, said she is concerned about the impact of extra traffic in the area.

Mrs Ward said: “Aylesbury is already overloaded with traffic and if the crematorium is built here it will only make the situation worse.

“The A418 is a major road in and out of the town which is already congested.

“I am also concerned about the extra traffic in Broadfield, Broughton and Tring Road as a knock-on effect.

“I have yet to see the proposals in detail or indeed see any of the other sites but those are my initial fears.”

Mrs Ward added that she was not against the idea of a crematorium in the Vale.

She said: “Our nearest crematorium is currently in Amersham which is a long way away so I do think we need one in the Vale.

“I do believe the developers need to think very carefully about how they will manage traffic around the crematorium.”

The committee says ‘traffic management is a key issue’ and ‘will be carefully considered during the planning process’.

It adds: “There is a good turning into Cane End Lane off the A418 at the Hulcott crossroads which leads straight to the crematorium without passing any dwellings other than the one at the entrance. Signage will be erected on the A418 and when exiting the crematorium directing traffic to this junction and not through the village of Rowsham.

“Making the road into Rowsham a no through way is also currently being considered as an option.”

Conservative county councillor for Bierton and Aston Clinton Bill Chapple said it was easy to jump to conclusions on whether the crematorium should go ahead.

He said: “If you asked me if I would rather have 500 new houses or a crematorium on the site, I would go for the crematorium every time.

“It is easy to instantly trot out the argument of ‘I want it but not in my back yard’.

“I think people should keep an open mind until they have seen the plans in more detail.”

A pre-planning consultation event will be held at the Jubilee Hall in Bierton on Thursday March 13 between 3pm and 8pm while letters with more information about the proposal are being sent out to residents.

Councillor Mike Smith, chairman of the Chilterns Crematorium Joint Committee, which put in the application said: “The Chilterns Crematorium was opened in March 1966 and serves the local community well.

“With the population of Bucks growing, particularly in the Aylesbury area, it has become apparent over the last couple of years that there is a need for a new crematorium in the north of the county.

“We have spent many years looking for a site and this one was found to be the most suitable.”

Subject to planning permission being granted and final costs being signed off construction work is expected to begin next year with the crematorium set to start operating in 2016.