Powys crematorium plan to be decided by government

Plans to build a crematorium will be decided by a Welsh Government minister.

An artist’s impression of how the site could look once completed
An artist’s impression of how the site could look once completed

After months of waiting, it has been confirmed that plans from Powys Crematorium Limited to build an all-new crematorium as well as a garden of remembrance on land north of the B4568 road at Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp will be decided in Cardiff.

The application for the 13.66 hectare site will now be looked at by Welsh Government planning inspectors.

Their advice and recommendation will be given to a Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, who will make the ultimate decision.

Despite strong local opposition, back in May councillors on Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee approved the proposal.

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.

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