Latest in series of rival facilities in the region earmarked for councillor’s land
The latest attempt to open Aberdeenshire’s first crematorium will go on public display next week.
The multimillion-pound centre is earmarked for a 14-acre plot of land between Longside and Stuartfield, near Mintlaw.
The site at West Knock is owned by local councillor Albert Howie.
The plan, which includes a restaurant and memorial garden, is the latest effort to build a crematorium in the north-east corner.
It is expected a dedicated centre for ceremonies in north Aberdeenshire could significantly ease pressure on existing facilities at Aberdeen, Buckie and Arbroath.
Just before Christmas, a similar £3million scheme at Crimond was backed by local councillors.
A final decision on planning permission now rests with Aberdeenshire Council officers and is expected in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, Peterhead Projects – a community-led group set up to boost the local economy – is also keen to open a crematorium in the Buchan area.
Next week, architects behind the Mintlaw scheme will host a series of public meetings to give locals the chance to see the plans for themselves.
The first presentation will be in Stuartfield Hall on Thursday from 7pm.
On Saturday, January 15, developers will host a two-hour consultation session at Mintlaw Public Hall from 10.30am.
A spokesman for Peterhead-based McAdam Design said: “This is an opportunity for the public to view the drawings and make comments.”
The feedback from both events will be used as part of an application for plan-ning permission which is expected to be lodged with Aberdeenshire Council at a later date.
Developers claim that the lack of facilities in Aberdeenshire means 70% of families opt for burial rather than cremation, whereas the UK average is 70% choosing cremation over burial.
The Crimond proposal was first unveiled a year ago.
Now it is in pole position in the race to build Aber-deenshire’s first crematorium.
The crematorium would be built on land at Hillhead Road, near Crimond’s former airfield, which is currently used for stock-car racing. The scheme faced a backlash from locals who argued that the building would have a negative impact on the outlook from their homes.
But planners said that extensive landscaping would ensure there was no unacceptable loss of view.
It was also argued that the rise in traffic going to and from the site would be unacceptable.
However, roads officers said that the local network would be able to cope with the increased demand.