Revised plans for a crematorium, funeral chapel and a car park on a Ribble Valley Remembrance Park have been given the green light.
The proposals, surrounding the former Calderstones Hospital graveyard on Mitton Road in Whalley,
were discussed by local planners at Thursday’s Planning and Development Committee meeting.
The Ribble Valley Remembrance Park is the final resting place of 995 patients of Calderstones Hospital from 1915 to 1993. The last interment at the 3.7-acre site was in about 1970, although some scattering of ashes has taken place up to 2003.
The application sought permission to vary conditions on a previous planning approval in October 2015.
On behalf of Friends of Calderstones Cemetery, Whalley resident and community stalwart, Mr Mel Diack MBE, said: “The developers have been cutting it back to make way for the new drive for the crematorium.
“There is some disagreement over where the graves are. Bodies, graves and urns have no part in planning law, which is poor to say the least.
“We were hoping that moral, spiritual and ethical issues would be discussed as well as the clarification needed on the Garden of Remembrance containing 211 urns by the two chapels, but this wasn’t to be once.”
He added: “We do hope that the Bishop will uphold the consecration and the cemetery remain sacred land and the 1,000-plus souls who were once cared for in the hospital are left untouched.”
In his report, the borough council’s planning officer, Mr Adam Birkett, said: “The minor material amendments sought as part of this application relate to the internal road and parking layout to ensure that any buried remains at the site are not disturbed and a revision of the previously approved entrance gates and wall to reflect their position on-site given that work on them has already commenced. There have been considerable objections to the proposed development as a result of its potential to affect buried remains. Notwithstanding the fact that such considerations are not material to the determination of the planning application, the applicants have provided survey reports to show that the revised site layout would not require disturbance of burials.”