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Campaigners will fight crematorium plan on farmland
A GROUP of residents have joined forces to campaign against a proposed crematorium plan on what they say is a overcrowded and dangerous road.
A planning application has been submitted by a company called Dignity to change land at Doe Hill Farm into a crematorium and landscaped grounds.
The plan proposes a 12-acre site with a crematorium building, car park and access onto the A4010 opposite Mill Lane, between Little Kimble and Terrick.
But due to concerns about road safety, the environment and the change of land use a Kimble and Ellesborough Residents Action Group has been set up.
Campaigner Julie Needle said: "The key objections are about the highways.
"The A4010 is a vastly overcrowded, dangerous road. It would be really hazardous to have a crematorium there."
She said ever since Wycombe A and E closed there has been an increase of emergency vehicles using the road from Wycombe to Stoke Mandeville.
And Mrs Needle said there will also be increased traffic with the construction of HS2.
She said there is also the concerns about the environment, with possible pollution and the loss of protected trees and hedgerow.
And there are also worries about the urbanisation of a rural area, especially with 20,000 acres of farmland due to be destroyed by the HS2 development.
Mrs Needle said: "There are so many reasons why this should not go ahead.
"They haven't done their homework properly.
"We are going to fight it every step of the way."
The action group, which has about 110 members, has presented its concerns to Kimble and Marsh Parish Council and Ellesborough Parish Council.
Mrs Needle added: "The access point would be so dangerous on the brow of the hill. It is a massively dangerous road. There would be fatalities waiting to happen."
The landowner did not wish to make a comment.
To view the application go to the planning portal on www.wycombe.gov.uk and type in 13/06615/FUL
Updated on 20/08/13
A spokesman for Dignity said: "On July 1, we invited local residents to a public meeting to explain why the proposed crematorium is needed and how our crematoria are operated and regulated.
"We are proposing to develop a small crematorium on part of Doe Hill Farm, to serve approximately 200,000 people. Our proposal is for a single-storey, state-of-the-art crematorium surrounded by beautifully landscaped Gardens of Remembrance. The proposed crematorium would not be visible from the A4010 due to the natural undulation of the land and the landscaping of the gardens. We anticipate that there would initially be only two to five funerals per weekday between 9.30am and 4.00pm.
"This proposed facility would offer reduced journey times to local bereaved families as until now the nearest crematorium is in Amersham - a 30 mile round-trip and approximately 40 minutes away by funeral cortege. The Chilterns Crematorium is operated by a Joint Crematorium Committee consisting of three council areas and they have indicated the need for a crematorium in Aylesbury Vale due to their own facility being close to capacity and the sixth busiest in the UK according to 2011 data.
"Modern crematoria have to comply with the latest environmental legislation and EU mercury abatement requirements. In addition, every crematorium has to apply for an annual permit from the Environmental Health Office to continue to operate. Failure to comply with this legislation or contravening a condition of the environmental permit is punishable by a £50,000 fine or up to 12 months’ imprisonment.
"We have received backing for the proposed crematorium from local funeral directors in addition to numerous unsolicited comments of support on the council planning website.
On 21 June 2013, the Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government asked to visit Dignity’s newest crematorium which opened in his constituency of Brentwood in November 2012. Following the visit said: 'The setting for Bentley Crematorium is peaceful and beautifully landscaped, which I am sure will be of great comfort to the families visiting on what will be, naturally, a sad occasion. I was very impressed by the facilities on offer for services, and the air of quiet calm which surrounds the new building and its grounds. Visiting a crematorium is never going to be a happy event, but this new crematorium offers local families the chance to lay their loved ones to rest with dignity and respect in peaceful surroundings.'"
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