A multi-million pound crematorium, which could be a money-spinner for Huntingdon Town Council and bring major new sporting facilities, has been given the go-ahead.

Artist's impression of crematorium in the parish of King's Ripton and Broughton, which was turned down by the council.Artist's impression of crematorium in the parish of King's Ripton and Broughton, which was turned down by the council.

Plans for the crematorium and cemetery at the town council’s Jubilee Park sports facility were given unanimous approval by Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management committee.

But councillors rejected a bid by Dignity to build a crematorium on land a short distance away at Sawtry Way, in Wyton, .

Both schemes, which would be capable of handling 800 cremations a year, had been recommended for approval.

Town clerk Philip Peacock told The Hunts Post the council was “really pleased” the scheme had been approved.

Justin Smith, town council agent, told the meeting there had been “widespread support” for their scheme which would provide benchmark integrated cremation services as well as a “fantastic” sports hub.

The town council’s plan involves building the crematorium and cemetery on Jubilee Park and providing new sports facilities on adjacent land. There would be 2,700 plots, a natural burial area and parking for 200 cars.

Dignity’s scheme was for a crematorium, a memorial garden and parking for 110 vehicles.

Patrick Downes, Dignity’s agent, said the firm was highly experienced and would bring a step-change in the quality of service available.

Councillor Jason Ablewhite said: “I don’t believe it is sustainable in any way, shape or form.”

He said the Huntingdon plan was “totally sustainable”.

Doug McIlwain, chairman and owner of Huntingdon Town FC, which is based at Jubilee Park, said: “It will be absolutely fantastic for the town and will bring sports like rugby, hockey and netball back.

“But this is where the work starts as far as I am concerned. We have an 86-year lease at Jubilee Park and I will not settle for anything as much as a blade of grass worse than we have at the moment.”.