I spent three days at the Royal Court of Justice listening to the arguments [regarding the Poundstock crematorium]. This was a very costly process.
From a financial position there are no winners! The winner is the parish of Poundstock and future generations in the area who have prevented 14 acres of land being harmed irreversibly.
For the supporters their only real concern was the distance to travel to Bodmin and Barnstaple. Did any of them consider the impact on the local tourism businesses in the area? Did the clergy who enthusiastically championed this crematorium consider the harm to the countryside and the impact on the protected landscape surrounding this site or even the lives of the parishioners of Poundstock?
I think not from what I have read.
I have spent over four years following this applications and the appalling way it has been dealt with by Cornwall Council. The Cornwall councillor for Bude was very vocal in his support. He stated it would not harm tourism and would not harm the landscape. No evidence was given just his word! If scalping the area expecting it to recover in 15 to 30 years is okay then there is something wrong with his thinking in terms of protecting open spaces.
The strategic committee hearing was painful due to the mis-leading and half truths that were made. Democracy only works for Cornwall Council when it suits them. They had no intention of listening to the people. This seems a familiar story with local and national political parties.
This crematorium was the same size as the one that is being built in Plymouth to serve 300,000 people. The one at Poundstock was to serve 25,000 to 28,000 people.
An article online states councillors said that they thought it was viable. I can tell you at the meeting that viability was not discussed. It was simply stated that viability was a commercial concern – end of conversation. They ignored most of the objectors comments and the worry I have is how many developments have been approved that should not have been.
There are many questions left unanswered as to the conduct of those involved in this application. It seems that right at the start of this process a plan was hatched to push this through without any thought to the residents of Poundstock or the surrounding landscape.
To sum up it was in the wrong location, would cause extensive harm to the area and landscape and Cornwall Council did not care.
I hope Cornwall Council planners and the legal officers take on board what the High Court Judge said. They failed in their duty of fairness and did not take a balanced view. Four Cornwall councillors did vote against this application and I thank them. Cornwall Council have a duty of care to the people and not to the applicants, they should take this on board as well.