Controversial plans for two crematoriums approved on appeal

Controversial plans to build two crematoriums on the outskirts of Wolverhampton have been given the green light by the Secretary of State.

Plans for the sites in Broad Lane, Essington, and Holyhead Road in Wergs were hit by a string of legal challenges, forcing the proposals to be put on hold.

A week-long public inquiry at South Staffordshire Council took place in January 2019.

Now plans for both sites have been allowed on appeal.

The Secretary of State determined the appeals following the quashing of a previous appeal relating to both crematorium plans.

In both cases, it was determined that the harm to the Green Belt was outweighed by the need for new facilities, with the Minister concluding that there is an “overall shortage of facilities across the West Midlands conurbation which is only likely to get worse”.

Pegasus Group provided  planning, landscape and heritage witnesses on behalf of Westerleigh Group for their crematorium proposal at Broad Lane, Essington.

The development proposed is for crematorium with ancillary book of remembrance building, floral tribute area, memorial areas, garden of remembrance and associated parking and infrastructure.

Hanna Mawson, director with Pegasus, said: “As part of the team led by Tony Bateman (planning), Jeremy Peachey (landscape) and Gail Stoten (heritage), we demonstrated the need for our client’s crematorium not just now but identified increasing pressure on facilities in the wider area into the future.”

Tony Bateman, managing director of Pegasus Group, said: “This was a challenging project, particularly as during the lead up to the inquiry a crematorium in neighbouring authority Cannock Chase received consent and we therefore had to respond to changing circumstances. Ultimately, however, both consents being granted on appeal is good news, as they will provide modern facilities, offering choice of location and environment, to meet the needs of communities and improve mourner experiences.”