Inspector Caroline Mulloy has dismissed an appeal for a crematorium, memorial gardens and associated development in the Doncaster Green Belt. 

Philip Robson, appeared for Doncaster MBC, and John Barrett, for Memoria as a Rule 6 Party.

Philip had previously advised the Council on how to deal with three simultaneous applications for crematoria within their boundary, including legal issues of alternative schemes and the procedural approach.  The Council consented one scheme from Memoria as it best met the needs of the Borough, and refused the other two as there was insufficient residual need to justify development in the Green Belt.  The recent appeal decision related to one of the two schemes originally refused. 

Crematorium development is inappropriate development in the Green Belt, although it is frequently located on such designated land because of the requirements to be away from residential development.  In order to demonstrate the necessary very special circumstances, the appellant needed to demonstrate an unmet need for their scheme.  

The inquiry sat for eight days and considered detailed issues of need, landscape and planning policy. 

In dismissing the appeal, the Inspector agreed with the Council and Rule 6 party that the site would cause harm to the character and appearance of the landscape and to the openness of the Green Belt.  Key to the Inspector’s conclusion was the lack of analysis on alternative site assessments.  A point that will be of potential wider interests to those planning development in the Green Belt.

The appeal decision contains detailed consideration of a crematorium need case including quantitative and qualitative need; future need; and, rebalancing.  

Philip was instructed by Doncaster MBC.

John was instructed by Kris Mitra of Genesis Town Planning of Chichester West Sussex.

View the appeal decision here.

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