Friday, 27 January 2012

Stirley Hill - Dead and Buried

Stirley Hill - Burial at sea?
Kirklees Planning Committee voted 7 votes to 6 yesterday against a new cemetery at Stirley Hill yesterday. A groundbreaking (maybe the wrong word) decision where the Committee went against Kirklees Councils own proposal to build there. Regular readers of my blog will be familiar with the issues where a site with poor transport links in a location which becomes waterlogged and bleak in winter. Tragically the poor road and weather conditions on the road leading up to the proposed site had resulted in a traffic fatality a few months ago. This highlighted the real issue that would have faced corteges of vehicles going up to the site. There was a massive petition of over a thousand signatures completed in favour of the cemetery but as Cllr Christine Smith pointed out many did not come from our area. In reality these were people who were anxious for a cemetery for religious reasons and were not related to the site or the planning application. They would most likely have been happy with a cemetery anywhere. I spoke up outlining my and the Green Party’s concerns about the site the one point I didn’t make that I wish I had was that because the site is often waterlogged and it is a high site with often frozen land that this could actually make it difficult to actually dig graves. The site was never really fit for purpose. So what happens now? There still remains an issue of a lack of burial spaces and it is not an easy position for the Council to be in but that does not mean it should have put forward a poorly thought out option that had some real downsides. Ultimately, forgetting the impact on the scenery around Castle Hill and the transport issues, it was a far from ideal location and the Committee were right to reject it.

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