Independent Assessment of Crematorium Need within North Kesteven District

Crematorium Application Refused as applicant fails to demonstrate need

Impact Planning Services (IPS) has completed an appraisal of the needs assessment and planning statement which had been submitted by applicants seeking to develop a new crematorium at Thurlby in Lincolnshire. IPS also completed an independent assessment of need, which was used by NKDC’s officers to inform their planning committee report.

The IPS team has extensive knowledge of the siting, planning and local demographic requirements of crematoria and to date has been involved in the successful delivery of 5 crematoria.

Extensive demographic modelling and analysis was conducted by IPS to provide a clear, accurate and defensible consideration of the Applicant’s submission material. The location of the proposal was mapped along with 27 crematoria within the region.

The need for a new crematorium is identified through quantitative and qualitative analysis of current provision.

Quantitative need is based on the “Natural Catchment”, which is similar to a “water shed” or gravitational model. It is the equidistant point (in terms of travel time) between two or more crematoria. This can be a significant distance from the crematorium. However, the prevailing logic is that crematorium service users are most likely to use the facility nearest to the most recent address of the deceased in terms of travel time.

Qualitative need is based on a number of factors:

One of these factors the adequacy and availability of the currently available service. This would usually take the form of either evidence of concern by local funeral directors or members of the public.

Another factor is the accessibility of an existing crematorium within a 30 min drive time at cortege speed, which is accepted to be 60% of the speed of normal traffic speed. The goal where possible it to ensure that the bereaved do not have to travel further the this 30min cortege speed drive time to the nearest crematorium.

In this case IPS concluded that the applicant did not submit sufficient evidence that there was a qualitive need for its proposal and that the quantitative need for the facility was also not proven.

The Applicant had not fully accounted for a recent permission for a new crematorium facility in Lea, to the north of Lincoln. Once the new facility’s natural catchment was modelled it was clear that the proposed crematorium was unjustified.

IPS’s drive-time analysis also indicated that the proposal was within with the 30min (at cortege speed) drive time of Lincoln crematorium. The number of people who would be “newly served” within 30 minutes was insufficient to justify the proposal.

The planning committee voted “nem con” to refused the application in accordance with the Case Officer’s recommendation on the 26th March.

IPS has significant experience in the planning and delivery of crematoria. If you wish to discuss anything within this article please Contact us.