Crematorium bid crosses first hurdle
PLANS to build Aberdeenshire’s first crematorium in a north-east village cleared a major milestone yesterday.
Councillors voted in favour of a delegated grant for the £3million scheme earmarked for Crimond, which means final approval rests with planning chiefs.
The application from a business consortium went before Aberdeenshire Council’s Buchan area committee.
It was widely backed by councillors but some concerns were raised about the main road that would serve the development.
Peterhead North and Rattray councillor Alan Buchan called for the plans to be scrapped, claiming the volume of traffic would be unacceptable.
He said: “To have 150 cars trying to turn into or out of the site is quite frankly not on and I would ask that we refuse this application.”
Roads officials sought to reassure councillors that the road network could cope with the development.
Planners previously said there is a need for a crematorium in the region, with families currently forced to travel to Aberdeen or Buckie to cremate their loved ones.
Objectors claim mourners could be disturbed by background noise at Crimond, while locals argue that the building could have a negative impact on the outlook from their homes.
A planning official said “extensive landscaping” would ensure there was no unacceptable loss of view.
The crematorium would be built on land at Hillhead Road, near Crimond’s former airfield, which is currently used for stock-car racing.
The planning department said landscaping would also help reduce noise caused by the cars and other nearby industrial buildings. Plans for the crematorium feature two furnaces and a chapel which could seat around 300 mourners.
There would also 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, which would be built on land owned by Central Buchan councillor Albert Howie, are at an early stage. He abstained from the debate and vote yesterday after declaring an interest.
Peterhead Projects, a community-led group set up to boost the local economy, is also keen to open a crematorium in the Buchan area.