Plans to build a new crematorium near Caersws in Powys have been referred by the planning authority and will be now decided by a Welsh Government minister.
After months of waiting, it has been confirmed that plans for a crematorium and garden of remembrance at a 13.66-hectare site near the B4568 at Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp will be decided in Cardiff.
The application, from Powys Crematorium Ltd, will now be looked at by Welsh Government planning inspectors, and decided by Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS.
Despite local opposition, councillors on the authority’s planning committee approved the proposal in May – but that would only have become binding if the Welsh Government declined to call in the application.
In a letter to the applicants and local authority, Welsh Government head of planning decisions, Lewis Thomas lists 13 issues with the site according to those who wanted to see the proposal called in.
Some of these include, the site being “remote” an “inadequate assessment of traffic impact” and that the application is a “significant departure” from Powys’ Local Development Plan (LDP).
Mr Thomas explains that there is “no evidence” in the planning report to support the location over others in more populated parts of Powys, where “multiple modes of transport” including walking and cycling are more “readily available.”
Mr Thomas said: “The proposal is a major development in open countryside which will generate significant traffic.
“The report identifies the proposal is a departure from the adopted LDP, however, it fails to provide justification as to why the departure is acceptable.
“The report refers to the anticipated demand for cremation services to support population centres in Powys, however, it does not demonstrate the sequential approach to site selection, and this absence is noticeable given the strategic dimension of the development, which, if granted, would become the only crematorium in Powys.
“Overall, the report fails to provide sufficient justification for such a departure from the approved LDP.
“In view of my assessment, the application appears to be more than local importance and consequently, it should be called in for determination.”
The decision will be made at a future date.Tags: Powys Caersws Crematorium