Application for clean energy system comprising 350 panels at site of former airfield at Crimond
Plans have emerged to use solar power at the site of what could be Aberdeenshire’s first crematorium.
David Gauld, the Edinburgh-based architect behind the project, has tabled proposals with the local authority to build a clean energy system comprising 350 solar panels.
It would be built at the former airfield at Crimond, near Fraserburgh, on land already earmarked for the crematorium.
Mr Gauld is working with a local business consortium on the crematorium, which would include two furnaces and a chapel with seating for about 300 mourners.
The architect could not be contacted yesterday so it was unclear if the proposed solar plant would partly power the crematorium.
Mr Gauld has also lodged a separate application for a similar solar power scheme on land near Aldie Farm, Cruden Bay.
No further details on that project were available last night.
Both applications mark the first stage of an extensive planning process.
After a change in legislation, all major plans must first be lodged with the council as a “proposal for application notice”.
The next stage is expected to be public consultations on the schemes, before more detailed formal planning applications are submitted.
Councillors voted in favour of a delegated grant for the £3million Crimond crematorium during a meeting at Peterhead last week. Final approval now rests with planning chiefs.
Mr Gauld told the Press and Journal previously that a crematorium was sorely needed in Aberdeenshire.
“In the UK, around 70% of people who die are cremated and 30% are buried,” he said. “However the figures are reversed in Aberdeenshire, with 70% being buried, because of a lack of facilities.”
Council planners agreed and said current arrangements mean families are forced to travel to Aberdeen or Buckie to cremate their loved ones.
Objectors, meanwhile, claimed mourners could be disturbed by background noise at Crimond, while locals argue the building could have a negative impact on the outlook from their homes.
The crematorium would be built on land at Hillhead Road, near Crimond’s former airfield, which is currently used for stock-car racing.
As well as the chapel there would be a garden of remembrance and parking for 180 cars. The construction phase would create about 20 jobs, with five full-time staff expected to be employed on completion of the project.
The consortium behind the Crimond bid faces competition from a rival development team that wants to build a crematorium on a 14-acre plot between Longside and Stuartfield, near Mintlaw.
Plans for the project, to be built on land owned by Central Buchan councillor Albert Howie, are at an early stage.