£10m crematorium won't be built in public park, council confirms

Littlemoor Park in Queensbury. Credit: Charles Round
Littlemoor Park in Queensbury. Credit: Charles Round
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A new crematorium will not be built in a public park as many feared, with Bradford Council announcing it will be developed on a private site.

Littlemoor Park in Queensbury had been on a shortlist of possible sites for a new crematorium in the south of the district.

But the council has now announced that it has chosen the site of the facility – and it was not Littlemoor. Instead, the crematorium will be built on a field off Shetcliffe Lane, Bierley.

The new £10.5 million crematorium will replace the existing one at Scholemoor, which the Council says is operating past its working life. The Scholemoor building is not able to house new, larger cremation ovens, the council says, and the facility will require a new building.

Littlemoor has finally been ruled out as being “unsuitable” for a crematorium.

Last month the executive board approved the choice of land off Long Lane, Heaton, to build a crematorium as a replacement for the one at Nab Wood.

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The council said negotiations are taking place with the private owners of both sites to agree a price for the land, but officers want to be granted compulsory purchase powers if agreement cannot be reached.

A statement from the council said: “Because of the nature of the facility, the location has to be well away from residential property as well as conforming to other restrictions.

“The Bierley site, in a rural location, is geographically the most logical place in Bradford South in terms of accessibility for cremations across its catchment area.”

Since Littlemoor Park was first named as a possible site, there has been a huge campaign to have the Council remove it from the shortlist of possible crematorium locations. Residents and park users argued that the park belonged to the people of Queensbury, not the council.

On hearing the news Carolyn Bowe, fro the Friends of Littlemore Park, said: “We’re over the moon. This announcement is a real champagne moment for us. The Friends of group was set up for this purpose. We’re just disappointed it has taken this long to happen.

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“They’ve said it was unsuitable. I was, not because of the location, but because the park doesn’t belong to the council, it belongs to the people. I hope the efforts we have all put in helped the council make its decision.

“Going forward we have to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

CounSarah Ferriby, executive member for healthy people and places, said: “This is the latest step in our strategy to create a modern, sustainable and environment-friendly bereavement service for the people of the district.

“It is a significant investment in future bereavement services operated by the local authority.

“We need to progress these works due to the age of the existing facilities which are working well beyond their recommended life span and which do not conform to modern environmental standards.

“We want to provide practical, sympathetic, convenient and pleasant surroundings for people when they pay their last respects to their loved ones.”

At a meeting at City Hall on January 7, members of the executive board will be asked to approve the choice of the Bierley site.