Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Co-Op Exhibition - The verdict

So, I went to the Co-Op exhibition about the plans for the cemetery in Great Glen. I can't say I was very impressed.

They had around 6 boards with information on delivering a heavy sales pitch and with images of other crematoriums. Although they looked pretty, the current landscape is far superior.

They had also 'changed their plans'. I'm sorry to be synical but this seems very convenient to me. Here is the original plan that was sent out:

Here's the new plan.

The entrance has been changed and the site has been reduced. On one hand I think, great! On the other hand I think... I bet they had the smaller site in mind all along, and they wanted to make it look like they 'listened to feedback' and changed their ideas. I'm sorry to be a cynic, but they must have known they would never have been able to access the site through Orchard Lane.

Another sneaky thing they did was ask us to tick how far we agree with four statements. These questions were not 'I want a crematorium in Great Glen'. Instead the chose to ask things that even someone who was opposed to the crematorium might put yes to. The four statements were:

The plans for the Stoughton Estate would meet the local need for more burial facilities identified by the council.

I agree with locating the entrance away from the village and not allowing access from Orchard Lane.

The scheme will not be harmful to local wildlife and it is a good idea to increase access for the public.

The crematorium building is well away from neighbouring properties.

Not one of these allows people to state whether or not they actually agreed with the plans. Even people who strongly oppose the site will clearly tick 'agree' to these statements. If they do, it's very easy to state that '90%' of residents approved of the location of the site. To me this is very sneaky and underhand and doesn't truly reflect people's views. I made surely I clearly wrote 'I am in opposition to the plans' underneath the statements. Whether this will be taken into consideration, I don't know. I used to consider the Co-Op as a moral company, but this is starting to change my views. It shouldn't be a case of tricking local people in order to achieve what would be best for their company. 

The new site would be accessed right near where Mr Humperdinck lives. I wonder how he feels about the whole thing?

Come on Engelbert, join the campaign!

How did you feel about the exhibition?
Can a crematorium ever be an asset to a community?

Please send your views to the Co-Op about the crematorium here (obviously I would prefer if these were negative views!)


Joy said...

I agree with you Lucinda. The exhibition was ridiculous and merely showed that the Co-op cannot be trusted. If they get planning permission they could modify things again.
Did you notice that the crematorium did not show the chimney? I asked and was told that the chimney would be higher than the building iself. I can't remember the actual height but it sounded quite tall to me. Why didn't they show it? Probably because it would spoil the picture!

I am also concerned that the Co-op rep could not deny that they might eventually put in plans for another crematorium on the site or even put in plans to extend the site onto the adjacent land that they own. They merely said that there were no plans to do so at present and separate planning consents would be needed.

The whole thing could swamp Great Glen and spoil our beautiful village.
Crematoria have to exist, but the location of this so near to houses and next to a school is crazy. They didn't even indicate Stoneygate School on their original plan! Most people didn't know it was right next door.
The traffic will be horrendous when they leave school.
Even if the emissions from the chimney are within EU standards, there will apparently still be emissions - they did not deny that when asked. With the extra emissions from slow moving traffic, is it really wise to site this next to a school? We all know that children are more vunerable.

Most people at the exhibition I attended were angry. I do hope people will not be taken in by this.

Steve said...

totally agree with you two ladies. The Co-op are not playing fair. I really hope people saw throgh those sales people. It was unprofessional the way they tried to sell the idea. I found them rather patronising. They didn't know tha area well and the questionnaire was rigged I'm sure. I don't trust them. Must dash - off to work now.

Lucinda Harrington said...

Thanks for your posts. It's good to know that people were in agreement. I was really annoyed by the questions they asked and the obvious intention to paint a picture that locals are in favour of the crematorium!