Cemetery U-turn but fight goes on

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VILLAGERS have welcomed the withdrawal of controversial plans for a cemetery near their homes.

But they have vowed to continue their fight against a crematorium proposed for the same site in Moor Lane, Willoughby.

The 22,000 plot cemetery was withdrawn by the applicant Aamer Waheed this week but members of a pressure group warn there is more hard work needed after this partial victory.

Villages Against Cemetery and Crematorium (VACC) was set up in October 2010 to fight the plan. Spokeswoman Kathy Hayter, said: “I think this just shows all of the hard work that people have put in and this news is a reward for our efforts.”

“However, we don’t want people thinking that the battle is over and that we have won. The layout of the site is still going to be the same, there are still concerns we have over the traffic and the air pollution.

“We need people to write again to Rugby Borough Council and make sure they know our strength of feeling.”

She also outlined that even if the revised plan was to get the go-ahead, it would have an enormous impact on village events.

Mrs Hayter said: “There are a lot of community events, such as the scarecrow festival and the summer fete which I doubt would continue if there was to be a crematorium built.”

The decision to change the application was prompted by concerns over the water table being contaminated.

The applicant’s agent, Gary Acton from the Cadman Design Group said: “One of the objections to the site has been to burials in high level water table areas which are being tested at the moment and will be continually be tested over a 12 month period.

“There is no issue from the council with regard to cremation burials which are on a higher level of the site near the proposed crematorium building.”

For more information on the work of the VACC, visit www.willoughbyweb.net