Opposed – application for a crematorium on green belt

I have joined with Claire Countinho MP in opposing the planning application for a crematorium on a Metropolitan Green Belt area. You can read our full opposition to the application below:

Planning Application for land North of Old Farleigh Road, Farleigh 

Ref: 2020/2007 

Erection of crematorium and memorial gardens together with car parking, landscaping works and associated infrastructure. 

We are writing to raise the concerns of our constituents to the above planning application which is for a large site which borders the Croydon South and East Surrey constituencies. Our constituents’ concerns are as follows: 

  1. This is Metropolitan Green Belt (MGB) land, comprising open fields in the countryside and it contributes a highly valued buffer zone to the suburban developments in Selsdon. The National Planning Policy Framework gives very high levels of protection for the Green Belt stating that Green Belt development should occur in very special circumstances only. Such very special circumstances have not been sufficiently evidenced to outweigh the harm such inappropriate development would cause and override the MGB protection this site has.
  2. The site is within a Site of Nature Conservation Interest, currently sits on the edge of Surrey Hills Area of Great Landscape Value and is registered as both Ancient Woodland and within 60 metres of a Local Nature Reserve (Selsdon Bird Sanctuary). Together with its Green Belt status, this altogether creates significant constraints on this site.
  3. The proposal would cause significant harm to the wider landscape character and local views – in particular the 3 chimney flues situated above the Crematory roof level. There are insufficient details on the chimney stack heights supplied.
  4. The development, which includes parking and access in addition to the crematorium buildings (with a service capacity for 120-150 mourners) themselves, would have a significant and permanent detrimental impact upon the general natural green and open rural landscape
  5. The footprint of the proposed built development and associated infrastructure would lead to an urbanising effect upon this undeveloped field in the countryside
  6. The impact on openness requires a judgement based on the spatial and visual aspects of the development, its permanence (there are already future expansion proposals in place) and the activity likely to be generated (clearly planned to rise with the projected expansion within 5 years)
  7. Loss of ecologically rich existing mature hedgerows to form access into the site
  8. Detrimental impact on local wildlife due to loss of natural habitat, noise and disturbance and ongoing impact of light spillage from security lighting
  9. Impact on highways with the significantly increased traffic movements of mourners and staffWe would be grateful if you could ensure that our constituents’ representations are fully taken into account when this application is being considered and would be grateful if you could keep us informed of progress with the application.