Cannock's first crematorium set to be given go-ahead
Plans for Cannock's first crematorium look set to be given the go-ahead.
The new crematorium would be built on land south of Five Ways Island, with planners recommending the scheme for approval.
If approved at Cannock Chase Council's meeting on Wednesday, a ceremony hall will be built on the Green Belt site, as well as memorial areas, a garden of remembrance and parking and infrastructure.
The hall would be able to accommodate up to 90 people seated and 20 more standing, as well as parking spaces for 73 vehicles.
London-based Horizon Cremation, which has applied for the development, says most Cannock people are forced to travel to Stafford Crematorium or to Bushbury in Wolverhampton, or Streetly, near Walsall.
It is proposed that the crematorium would be open 252 days per year between 9am and 5pm with an average number of visitors to each service varying between 20 to 40 people. However, it is also estimated that occasionally numbers attending a service could exceed 80 people.
The crematorium would have three elements, a reception/waiting room, a ceremony hall and the third housing the cremator room and offices.
In a document prepared for the committee, it says: "The proposal comprises inappropriate development within the Green Belt and therefore should only be approved where very special circumstances have been demonstrated to exist.
"Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt.
"Having regard to technical issues it is considered that some harm would be caused to the character and form of the area by visual, urbanising impacts on the semi-natural character of the site the of the building and associated hard standing would introduce.
"However, any harm would be limited, by the degree of screening by surrounding woodland belts and would be offset in the medium to long term by subsequent landscaping and the management of the site, together with the careful use of materials.
"It is therefore concluded that the harm to the Green Belt and to the character of the area would be clearly outweighed by the unmet quantitative and qualitative need for new crematoria capacity, lack of suitable and available alternative non Green Belt sites, the synergy for a crematorium to be located adjacent to the proposed cemetery site; and that the landscaping strategy for the facility will ensure significant ecological and biodiversity enhancements for the area."
The planners recommended that the committee is 'minded' to approve the plan and that authority be given to officers to allow for finer details to be agreed, subject to conditions.
Cannock Chase Council's planning committee will consider the plan on Wednesday.