The future success of a high-tech business park could be at risk if plans for a nearby crematorium are given the go-ahead, it has been claimed.
Paul Walsh, commercial director of Offshore Wind Power Marine Services, has said his company would not have established its UK headquarters on St Asaph Business Park had they been aware of the proposal to build a crematorium nearby.
Next week (Wednesday, 19) Denbighshire councillors will consider the application by the Chichester-based company Memoria Ltd for a new crematorium on Glascoed Road, near St Asaph.
Mr Walsh said: “We looked at three possible locations for our UK base – in Kent, Essex and St Asaph – and chose here for two reasons, the first being that it is close to the Irish Sea developments and the second that it is such a pleasant, semi-rural site which benefits our staff.
“It’s good for our staff to be able to go for walks along the footpaths and tracks at lunchtime but if there is to be a continual stream of funeral traffic passing through the park, as is likely to happen, then there is no doubt it will increase the morbidity factor.
“The road through the park will be the main access route to the crematorium from the A55 and that, we feel, is not conducive to a high-quality business. We look after our staff and want them to enjoy quality time.
“We would not have chosen this location had we known about these plans.”
Concerns have also been expressed by Professor Stuart Irvine, director of the Centre for Solar Energy Research at Glyndwr University, which occupies one of the prime sites near the entrance to the business park.
He said: “The Business Park is a huge asset and we deal with businesses all over the world, and want to attract others here.
“We are trying to get investors to look at coming here but when we are having meetings and conferences we don’t want to see a regular stream of funeral traffic passing by.”
Professor Irvine, a member of St Asaph Business Park Forum, added: “We are trying to help the park to develop but Denbighshire do not seem to understand that. This proposal seems out of sync with what we are trying to achieve.”
Director of Memoria Ltd, Jamison Hodgson said: “We have been working for 5 years to find the best site to service the independently verified need for a new crematorium in Denbighshire.
“We are looking to invest £4m in this public service facility which is going to service over 135,000 people in and around Denbighshire.
“Our proposed site is located to the West of the Business Park and is clearly separated from it. The Chapel and associated buildings have been carefully designed to ensure that they have minimal visual impact on the surrounding area, whilst also meeting the specialist needs required for services of this nature.
“From a traffic perspective, most people access the Business Park off the A55 or from the East. As such, not many people will drive past the proposed site in order to access the Business Park. However, if they did, the above measures mean that limited visual impact would occur.
“The impact of traffic generation is minimised by the fact that most funeral services take place between 10 am and 3 pm. i.e. during off-peak times when the road network is quiet.”