Council's second attempt to build crematorium in Hatfield cemetery after High Court ruling
PUBLISHED: 07:14 05 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 05 June 2019
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council is trying for a second time to turn a Hatfield cemetery into a crematorium - in spite of a High Court ruling quashing its previous application.
Last year London's High Court struck down WHBC's granted planning application - for Lawn Cemetery to become Welwyn Hatfield's first crematorium - due to a 'legal error' being made on the part of the council.
It was determined that WHBC failed to take into account that nearby Woollensbrook Cemetery & Crematorium would have enough space to also carry out cremations.
The decision was made after the rival crematorium run by Crematoria Management Limited, located 10 miles away in Broxbourne, challenged WHBC's granting of the application.
"I conclude that the council's decision to grant itself planning permission for the development on the site was vitiated by legal error," Judge Sir Wyn Williams said at the time.
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The error was made by not including a full impression of the Broxbourne facility in a report presented to the council's development management committee, which WHBC is confident will not happen again.
"The legal challenge was a disappointing setback, but we are positive that the latest planning application will enable us to deliver this much-needed facility for residents," said Cllr Stephen Boulton, executive member for environment at WHBC.
The council believes the plans will enhance Hatfield's bereavement services by creating a new crematorium facility to address an increasing demand for cremations in the borough.
The existing chapel, offices and workshop, to the south-west of Lawn Cemetery, would be relocated and a new chapel building will be built if planning permission is approved.
A reception, waiting areas and crematorium, could also become part of the new chapel building, and be surrounded by a water feature and pond, additional parking and burial plots.
"This would be the first crematorium in Welwyn Hatfield and we are confident it would be welcomed by residents who are currently forced to travel elsewhere," added Cllr Boulton.
The plans for the crematorium are still going through the consultation period and comments can still be submitted up until June 12 via welhat.gov.uk/Planning/Comment/6/2019/1208/MAJ or search for planning application planning.welhat.gov.uk.