after lengthy discussions at last week’s Buchan Area Committee meeting, councillors agreed to approve planning permission in principle for the erection of a crematorium at Crimond.
Planning permission in principle was sought for the crematorium and the formation of associated car parking and ancillary landscaping by The Firm of N. Cowie at the former Crimond airfield.
The application was originally considered by the committee at its meeting in July this year when it was deferred for a site visit.
It was then considered again in August when it was agreed to defer consideration of the application to allow the applicant time to come back with more detailed plans showing the new proposed footway link and carriageway along Hillhead Road, illustrating the existing carriageway width retained and providing confirmation that the necessary works are within the applicant’s control.
The detailed plans were provided to committee members and were fully investigated by councillors during the meeting last week.
Members heard that the application sought planning permission in principle for the erection of a crematorium with chapel to accommodate around 300 mourners, a garden of remembrance, car parking for 180 cars and extensive landscaping.
Operating hours were indicated as being 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am to 12 noon on Saturdays and closed on Sundays, with an estimated total number of vehicle movements of 300 cars per day, and possibly 150 cars per service if operating at maximum capacity.
Councillor Alan Buchan feared that the plan could put Crimond’s future developments at risk.
He said: “This proposal will prevent the future development of the village of Crimond to the south.
“Also, travelling along that road quite frequently myself, I feel it is a danger for that amount of cars to be turning right in or out of that junction.
“If 150 cars are going to be coming in and out of that junction at once it could put a lot of people in danger.”
The updated plans from the applicant show the creation of a footway link for pedestrians and also to widen the current carriageway which as stated by planning officers would “easily allow the passing of a heavy goods vehicle and a standard sized car and would be an improvement for both drivers and foot traffic”.
Planning officers also stated: “No work would begin on the building of the crematorium itself until the road improvements were put in place as well as the footpath to ensure problems did not occur after the erection of the crematorium.”
The recommendations to approve the planning proposal subject to conditions were agreed by Buchan councillors.
The erection of the crematorium will benefit people in the Buchan area, who at the moment, may have to take an entire day off work to travel to the nearest crematorium, currently based in Aberdeen or Buckie.
Funeral director Paul Deans (left), of Fraserburgh Funeral services said it was great news for locals.
“In my opinion, I think it’s a very good idea to have a crematorium in the area. Instead of people having to travel to Aberdeen or Buckie they now have the choice to have the service right on their doorstep,” he said.
Ian Buchan, owner of Buchan Funeral Directors, also supported the crematorium plans.
He said: “It will benefit the local communities quite a bit.
“Whichever crematorium they pick at the moment it takes the best part of the day to hold the entire service.
“Now, however, if there’s going to be a crematorium locally it would take roughly the same amount of time as a burial takes. Saying this though, if the Mintlaw one was to get the go ahead as well I doubt both of them would survive.”