Plans for a new crematorium near Bude featuring designs inspired by ancient ‘Long Barrows’ have been submitted to Cornwall Council.
A formal planning application has been put forward by the Atlantic View Consortium, following a public consultation which found that 66% of people who took part were in favour of the plans.
Local residents and businesses were asked for their views on the Atlantic View Crematorium and Memorial Garden, which would be located on the outskirts of the village of Poundstock. The proposal includes the creation of a single-storey building which would be set into the landscape and surrounded by wildflower gardens, ponds and woodland.
The plans are being brought forward by a local consortium in response to a pressing need for a new crematorium to serve North Cornwall. Families and mourners currently have to travel an hour to lay their loved ones to rest in Barnstaple in North Devon or Bodmin in mid Cornwall.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and November 2020 lockdown restrictions, it was not possible to hold a public exhibition so a consultation took place online. During that time, approximately 2,600 people visited a specially designed project website to view the plans. An online questionnaire also gave people the opportunity to comment on the proposals and give their views.
The design of the building has been inspired by the principles and features of ancient ‘Long Barrows’ – burial places using giant stones covered with large mounds of earth. The Atlantic View Crematorium will integrate with its surroundings and reflect the ancient “journey” and farewell to the deceased. The design also proposes to significantly enhance the biodiversity of the site.
During the consultation period, Bude-Stratton Town Council’s Planning Committee also met to discuss the plans and gave them its full backing. In a statement, the committee said: “It would be of great benefit and convenience to local grieving families not to have to travel at least an hour to Bodmin or Barnstaple on these incredibly difficult days. The Committee appreciated the design concept and layout of the proposal. The Committee felt it would also benefit the climate change ambitions of Bude-Stratton Town Council and the surrounding parishes.”
The proposed site at Poundstock is approximately four miles south of Bude and has been chosen for its direct access to the main A39 trunk road, also known as the Atlantic Highway.
To address potential concerns about how the building could look within the existing area, a comprehensive Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment looked closely at views of the site from key areas around it, such as the A39 road, the AONB and Widemouth Bay coast. It also considered views towards the coast from the A39. Experts concluded that the visual impact of the development, both upon completion and in 15 years’ time, would be extremely low due to the integrated design approach, sensitive landscape screening and enhanced biodiversity and landscape character.
Howard Smith of the Atlantic View Crematorium Consortium, said: “The creation of a new crematorium would substantially reduce the emotional turmoil of those who currently have to travel long distances to say goodbye to a loved one. The fact that two thirds of those who took part in the consultation were in support of the plans, confirms our view that there is a pressing need for this facility.
“We are grateful to everyone who took the time to view and comment on the proposals during the public consultation. It has always been important to us to gather the views of local people and businesses. Our focus is on creating a beautifully designed building which will provide a much-needed facility closer to home.”
The building has been designed by Bude-based Chartered Architects, The Bazeley Partnership. A spokesman said: “The building takes its design principals from ancient burial sites and Long Barrows with heavy stone and earth walls. A grass roof will allow it to visually blend in and appear rooted in the existing landscape, while natural materials such as granite, stone, timber and copper would also be used.
“The design seeks to create a series of ‘places’ and ‘thresholds’ – a beginning, a middle and an end – that support the events and emotions experienced by those sharing in ‘the ceremony of goodbye.”
The full planning application can be viewed by visiting the Cornwall Council website planning portal here: https://bit.ly/3bBPIlD