New crematorium for Huntingdon gets go-ahead but rival scheme is thrown out for a second time

An artist's impression of the new Huntingdon Town Council-backed crematrorium in Kings Ripton

An artist's impression of the new Huntingdon Town Council-backed crematrorium in Kings Ripton - Credit: Archant

A multi-million pound crematorium has been given the go-ahead for a second time by councillors after plans were quashed by the High Court last year.

Plans for the crematorium and cemetery near Jubilee Park sports facility, were approved by Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management committee on Monday.

The application, which was submitted by the town council, is for a crematorium, café and memorial gardens opposite Mayfield Heath Farm, in Sapley Road, Kings Ripton.

At the same meeting, however, councillors rejected a rival bid to build a crematorium a short distance away at Sawtry Way, in Wyton, for a second time.

The failed application, which was submitted by national firm Dignity Funerals Ltd, was for construction of a new crematorium at Wyton Piggery Cottage, near Broughton and Kings Ripton. The Dignity application was initially refused in December 2017 on the grounds that it was unsustainable.

But Dignity appealed against the refusal and resubmitted a new proposal addressing the issues the councillors raised at the time.

The town council’s first application was approved in December 2017 by the development management committee at the same meeting in which the first Dignity scheme was thrown out.

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However, after an appeal from Dignity, the High Court ruled the original town council permission should be quashed and the plan resubmitted.

At the meeting on Monday, which was held at the district council’s headquarters in Huntingdon, councillors gave the town council’s new plans the go ahead.

Chairman of the district council, Councillor Richard West said: “There are a few reasons why I supported these plans. The first reason being that there is a footpath going up to the site, which would make it easier for mourners to access. There is also a bus service that runs to the site, meaning that everyone can have access to it. I think overall that it is a much safer development. It seems to be much better for highway safety too.

“I also think it is good there is a café at the [town council] development, which would be nice for people who are mourning to visit and take time to reflect. The main issue that I felt for the refusing the Dignity plan was that, arguably, there would be significant harm to the countryside. I don’t think that the design suits a crematorium either as people would come there in a time of sadness, and the balance isn’t right.”

The first application made by Dignity will be considered by the Planning Inspectorate in April.