RESIDENTS are celebrating after controversial plans for a crematorium in their village were thrown out after a two-year battle.
Proposals developed by Aamer Waheed for Moor Lane in Willoughby were originally rejected by Rugby Borough Council (RBC) in June this year.
However the appeal has now been thrown out by the planning inspectorate as it was not judged to be valid.
The appeal had led to an action group, Villages Against Cemetery and Crematorium (VACC) set up to fight the plans. The cemetery part of the plan was dropped by the applicant.
Chairman of VACC and Willoughby Parish Council, Mike Thomas, said: “This is excellent news. It is such a relief to everyone in the community to know that this threat is finally behind us.
“There may be future applications but we can deal with these as they arise.
“It has been a heavy cloud hanging over us which is now lifted. The whole community has pulled together to fight the plan.
“We have had the support of our MP, Jeremy Wright, and other parish councils in the area. It has all helped us to keep going.”
Local resident and VACC member, Kathy Hayter, said: ‘It was so lovely to be able to deliver the good news to people between Christmas and New Year. Everyone has worked so hard over the last two years. All of the effort has been rewarded.
“We are grateful to the press for their sustained interest and comprehensive reporting of the facts. It has helped us remain focused and brought the issues to wider public attention.”
She also paid tribute to the contribution to the former councillor at RBC and Warwickshire County Council for the area who died in November and helped to fight the plans for the crematorium.
Mrs Hayter added: “We would also like to pay tribute and acknowledge the support we received from the late Gordon Collett who maintained a keen interest in the community’s battle up to the date of his death.”