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Councillors approve new north-east crematorium

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Plans for a new crematorium at Chapelton have been given the go-ahead to meet “significant” demand for services.

Southesk Farms lodged an application for the new crematorium on the Elsick Estate near Newtonhill last October.

They wanted to build a new hall and crematorium next to the walled garden of the historic Elsick House.

A swimming pool building currently on the site will be demolished to make way for the new facility.

The application was initially considered by councillors last month but they agreed to visit the site first due to concerns over parking.

Council planners had recommended the plan be approved.

Jonathan Dymock from Southesk Farms noted that there is “significant” demand for a crematorium to cover Aberdeenshire and North Angus.

He told members that Baldarroch Crematorium out at Crathes is fully booked and supports the new site as it would save grieving families from having to wait.

Peterhead funeral director Robert Mackie has also given his support to the development.

Mr Dymock added: “There is a growing population, a greater proportion are wishing to be cremated so the huge demand is certainly needed to be satisfied.”

He revealed that the new crematorium would offer services lasting an hour and a half, and argued that having four cremations a day would lead to less demand on surrounding roads.

The Chapelton building has been specifically designed so the hall can be used for alternative purposes.

The location of the cremator building means the hall can act as a standalone facility for weddings and community events.

The crematorium is expected to operate four and a half days a week – from Monday to Thursday and Friday mornings.

Outside of these times, the hall would be available for alternative uses.

Committee chairwoman Wendy Agnew said she had “no hesitation” granting the application.

Councillor Alison Evison added: “The nature of what’s available on the site already is important when thinking about transport and travel arrangements that people have been concerned about.”

The committee then unanimously approved the application.

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