£3m project for Walsall cemetery relaunched
Fresh proposals have been put forward for a new private cemetery which was rejected last year.
The £3 million scheme had been earmarked for land on Aldridge Road, Walsall, but was thrown out after more than 1,000 objections were lodged against the proposals.
But now it has emerged that the applicant has relaunched their bid to turn the land into a cemetery which would have almost 8,000 plots.
He believes that the reasons that led to Walsall Council refusing the plans have now been resolved.
Flood and ground assessments have been carried out and it is also proposed that more trees will be planted to keep a reception building at the 4.3 hectare site more hidden from the roadway.
A new planning application has been submitted to council chiefs and it will be considered within the next few months.
When proposals for a new cemetery were first revealed at the end of 2012 there was a backlash with more than 1,200 names added to a petition.
Some 98 individual letters were sent in opposition to the Aldridge Road Burial Park scheme and up to 300 people attended a public meeting to discuss the application.
There were concerns over the change of use of the agricultural use as it was off a busy route. People were worried it would lead to traffic problems and they were also concerned about the loss of green belt and that the land would be susceptible to flooding.
The proposal which included a single-storey reception building, car parking and new access route was rejected by the council under delegated powers in February last year.
Officials cited a lack of a flood assessment, risk of groundwater pollution and the adverse impact on the character of the land as the reasons for their decision.
Although the latest application is largely similar, Aamer Waheed, who is also behind the Walsall Burial Park in Burntwood, said the main issues have been resolved.
"There is a need for more burial spaces," he said. "Whatever the reason for refusal the last time we have addressed it. It is an open site. There are no residents on the other side so it doesn't impact on them."
The Butts & Hatherton Residents Association has now produced a leaflet to flag up that the plans have been resolved.
It states: "As we informed you previously the cemetery application would come back and it has. Our long battle ahead is just starting and not gone away as some would like us to believe.
"We need to show the unity that we all have during the past 15 months.
"Residents need to write/email again to the planning department at Walsall Council with their objections. We will be coming round with a new petition."
It is one of a number of new cemetery proposals earmarked for sites across the region in a bid to ease problems with a lack of burial space.
A crematorium is also set to be built on land off Broad Lane in Essington despite residents handing in a 650-signature petition against the proposals.
South Staffordshire Council have agreed to lease the land for the development but a planning application is yet to be submitted. The council has said it needed to introduce the site to reduce waiting times at crematoriums.
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