Campaigners fighting plans for the crematorium at Great Glen declared the result of last night’s planning meeting as a ‘victory for people power’.
Harborough District Council rejected Co-op’s plans for the crematorium on land south of the village at a planning meeting last night (Tuesday).
In a statement to the Mail today, Dr Kevin Feltham, county councillor for the area including Great Glen, said: “I am delighted that the flawed plans have been thrown out. Trying to shoe-horn an incinerator, or crematorium, next to Stoneygate School was always a bad idea but the planners had recommended approval on the grounds that they had come down on the side of the facility when weighing the need for it against at least two planning policies that would have been contravened.
“To have 25 people commenting on the plans in front of a packed room with over 120 people, many standing, sitting on the floor or peering through doorways, was a clear demonstration of a community fighting to save the rural character of their village. Over 280 people had written comments on the plans in the weeks leading up to last nights decision, and showed the depth of feelings against the plans.
“I feel very proud to represent the village together with MP, Sir Edward Garnier, district councillors Hallam and Spendlove-Mason and the parish council, who all weighed in to oppose these plans.
“Now we have to wait to see if the Co-op will appeal the decision, but it gives time for Harborough and adjacent Blaby District Councils to collaborate and look strategically at the need for such a facility, and to identify options that are better located; leaving it up to developers hasn’t worked so far.”
Harborough MP Sir Edward Garnier said: “This refusal has been made on solid planning law grounds and complies with the council’s published planning strategy.
“The council has done exactly the right thing as well as being in tune with the overwhelming opinion of the people of Great Glen and the local area.
“Dr Kevin Feltham, the county councillor, and district councillors Hallam and Spendlove-Mason, the parish council and I have all been working together with the residents of the village to ensure this result and we will continue to work together to ensure that if the CWS appeals they lose.
“There may well be a need for a crematorium south of Leicester but this site is, on planning and other grounds, not the right place.
“I congratulate all those who took part in the campaign to stop this development but urge them to prepare for further battles ahead.”