Thousands sign petition as crematorium tranquillity under threat

The prospect that bereaved families could have funeral services interrupted by noise and commotion from a new industrial estate has provoked outrage from local people against plans proposed by Carmarthenshire County Council.      

On the 8th March, the Plaid-led Executive Board unanimously agreed to negotiate terms and enter into an option agreement with the adjoining landowner of the site.  

Councillor Rob James, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council’s Labour Group, with the support of six other Labour Councillors, formally ‘called in’ the decision for reconsideration – stating that the sale did not comply with existing policies including the Future Generations Act and the Council’s declaration of a Climate Emergency. 

Councillor James said: “The future of the site at Penprys rests now with the Council’s Executive Board.  Without the potential sale of the land, it is very unlikely that the development will proceed. Therefore, Plaid and Independent Councillors are essentially giving their thumbs up to the principle of the development by entering into an option agreement.” 

“Labour are asking them to think again as the decision not only goes against public feeling about the planned development which will alter the peaceful nature of the nearby Llanelli Crematorium but also against the environmental policies that the Council has to adhere to.” 

So far, over 2,500 people have signed a petition calling on Carmarthenshire Council to reverse their decision.

Gillian Thomas from Glanamman said: “I reject to the proposal of an industrial park going next to the crematorium. There are plenty of industrial premises laying empty elsewhere. This is ridiculous and undignified to even suggest an industrial park going next to a place of peace and tranquillity.”

On why she has signed the petition, Llanelli resident Winifred Lewis said: “Because any industrial development in the vicinity if Llanelli Crematorium would be completely unnecessary. There is enormous scope elsewhere in the form of empty industrial units which should be utilised prior to building any new units.

“The Crematorium is a vital sacred facility which should be left for quiet contemplation and reverence. In fact the Crematorium should become a showcase of all that is good and commemorate all those that have passed on. Memorial walks, tree shrouded seating, and pergolas. It is a Crematorium.”

Nia Griffith MP for Llanelli did not mince her words: “I am horrified that Plaid and independent Councillors should ever have thought of plonking an industrial estate right next to Llanelli Crematorium. What are they thinking of? This shows no respect whatsoever for mourners. At what is a very distressing time, at least the Crematorium currently offers calm and tranquillity.    

“Moreover, why try and perch an industrial estate here on a patch of greenfield land, instead of maximising the use and upgrading of the existing industrial and brownfield sites we have in Llanelli?”  

Llanelli MS, Lee Waters added: “We do need modern units for businesses to grow and develop but this is a terrible location. This will have a detrimental impact on the peaceful setting of the crematorium. And I am very concerned that the Council are gradually urbanising the stretch between Dafen and Llangennech.  This is a bad idea and I’m pleased that local Labour councillors have helped to get it formally called in.”

(Lead image: Llanelli Crematorium)

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