A long-standing planning line on a developer’s plans to build a crematorium on the site of a former hotel in North Cork is set for another chapter.
Classic Lodges has filed an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against the recent decision by Cork County Council to deny the company the building permit to build a crematorium on the site of the former Duhallow Park Hotel, at around 3 km from Kanturk.
This is the second time in the past two years that Classic Lodges have sought to overturn the council’s decision to reject plans for the crematorium on a 2.7 hectare site on the N72 Mallow-Killarney road in Dromcummer Beg.
An Bord Pleanála had already refused a similar request from the company last year for environmental and road safety reasons.
In its recent decision, Cork County Council said the crematorium, if approved, would create a negative effect on a national road where the maximum speed limit applied.
Council planners asserted that the development would endanger public safety by posing a traffic hazard by generating additional traffic flow in the region.
In its appeal, Classic Lodges says the principle of development has been established, with the company arguing that the crematorium would not have negative effects on the efficient functioning of the N72.
He claimed that the board had not given due consideration to the mitigation measures he had proposed regarding traffic entering the site.
Classic Lodges claims that previous use of the hotel’s site generated significantly more traffic than its proposed crematorium.
He said a report prepared by consultants showed that the crematorium would have “a negligible and imperceptible impact” on the capacity of the road network in the region.
The company said it considers the council’s previous concerns about the development’s impact on public health to have been addressed, as it was no longer part of their decision to deny building permission for the project.
He said he also addressed the issues raised by An Bord Pleanála last year regarding the lack of mitigation measures to ensure that runoff from road works to facilitate a right turn in the crematorium would not pollute the Blackwater River Special Conservation Area. .
The company pointed out that the site is a brownfield site that already has access to a national secondary road.
He said his proposed traffic management plan for the site will allow for the safe and sustainable use of the crematorium by vehicles, with a process for communicating information about access to funeral directors using the facility.
The company said it will also encourage the use of alternative transport such as minibuses for grieving groups.
However, its application was challenged by Transport Infrastructure Ireland, which said it contradicted national policy regarding development control affecting the national road network.
The vast majority of the nearly 50 submissions made to the council also opposed the proposed crematorium, including one from the operator of the only existing crematorium in Cork, located on Rocky Island in Cork Harbor.
The island’s crematorium claimed that there had been no significant changes to the plans that had previously been denied the building permit, and that any amendments were “insignificant” and did not address the concerns of the council “of any way ”.
The Dromcommer Residents Association claimed that the site’s planning history showed there was “a chaotic or messy approach to the problem of finding an appropriate use” for the land.
The group claimed the latest request was fundamentally similar to previous plans that had been rejected by An Bord Pleanála, as concerns remain over environmental and traffic issues.
Local Fine Gael councilor John Paul O’Shea said he shared the concerns of local residents and was disappointed to see another attempt at the same development.
Classic Lodges also provided for the possibility of a second crematorium on the site which has been inactive since the hotel closed 15 years ago, which would be the subject of a separate planning request.
The company said there will be no memorial wall at the crematorium for storing the remains, while no scattering of ashes will be allowed for environmental reasons.
A decision by An Bord Pleanála on the last appeal is expected in early April 2022.