Aberdeen:Green light for Royal Deeside crematorium

ABERDEENSHIRE councillors are set to approve controversial plans for a new crematorium on Royal Deeside - despite furious local opposition to the development.

Plans for the crematorium. Picture: Complimentary

The area currently has no facilities for cremation services. Aberdeen has a crematorium at Hazlehead and the Moray Crematorium is located at Clochan, Buckie.

Brian Smith Funeral Services of Peterculter has lodged the plans for a crematorium building of “striking modern design” to be built on the outskirts of Crathes, near Banchory.

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The planning application had attracted 17 letters of objection, including one from the Crathes, Drumoak and Durris Community Council and only two letters of support.

Objectors claims that Crathes is too close to the existing facility in Aberdeen and that the crematorium would have an adverse impact on nearby Crathes Castle, one of the area’s leading tourist attractions. They also claim that emissions from the facility could be highly toxic.

Supporters, howver, have welcomed the prospect of siting a new crematorium on Deeside, claiming that a facility outside Aberdeen has long been badly needed.

Senior planners are recommending that the scheme be approved at next Tuesday’s meeting of the Marr area committee.

Stephen Archer, the council’s Director of Infrastructure Services, states in his report to the committee: “It is recognised that the existing crematorium facility in Aberdeen, often struggles with demand, and the provision of a slightly smaller facility in the southern part of Aberdeenshire would help cater for a community facility,related to that catchment area. The location of the facility, close to the junction with the A957 and the A93, would also provide excellent linkages to the existing road network, yet also be accessible to public transportation at the same time.”

He continues: “Concerns have been raised by residents and objectors as to the perceived impacts and reputation on having such a facility in Crathes. However, while funeral corteges and additional traffic would be associated with the proposal, they would not in themselves warrant the refusal of the development. It is considered that the development is well sited to avoid any direct impact on adjacent property, and would allow those attending services to have the tranquillity of a rural setting.”

Mr Archer states: “The crematorium building would have a gross floor area of 387 square metres, and of a striking modern design.”

Recommending that the committee approve a delegated grant of planning permission, he states: “In summary, it is clear that the proposal to erect a crematorium in Crathes has attracted objection from the local community. However, assessment against the relevant policies of the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan has demonstrated that the development would not contravene said policies. There is a demonstrated demand for such a facility due to the continuing issues of provision in Aberdeen City, and the site is very well connected to wider Deeside, and also to Kincardine and Mearns to the south.”