THE best place to build a crematorium in Powys, according to a feasibility study, is somewhere between Newtown and Llandrindod Wells.
Back in December 2020, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, asking Powys County Council (PCC) for the feasibility study they had commissioned by Bedfordshire based firm, The CDS (Crematorium Design Services) Group.
Initially the request was refused on the grounds that it would be “commercially sensitive for both the authority and the company.”
Following the refusal, the LDRS asked for the decision to be reviewed.
Earlier this month the LDRS were told that the review had been successful and a copy of the report, though heavily redacted was released.
The study from September 2019 explains that a crematorium would need to be based in an area that takes advantaged of population density.
CDS say that a crematorium is needed if Powys is to fulfil objective nine of Local Development Plan’s (LDP) which focusses on providing services and facilities for future generations.
They also point out that residents travel more than the “realistic drive time of 30 minutes” to reach a crematorium.
CDS said: “However, with no local facility for the residents of Powys and a significant geographically remote population that would be served by the proposed development, there remains a need for one strategically positioned crematorium.
“It would appear that the most obvious location for a crematorium would be closest to the area with the largest population in the county.”
The company considers the five biggest towns in Powys, which are Newtown, Brecon, Ystradgynlais, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells.
They believe that Newtown could be the best site as it would serve the biggest population.
Taking in a wider area based on the town would see a facility serve 87,000 people out of a total of 132,000.
This equates is 66 per cent of the people living in Powyys
CDS said: “However, residents to the north and west are outside of this catchment and some may continue to use Shrewsbury crematorium.”
A site south of Llandrindod Wells to take in Brecon is dismissed as residents in the north of Powys wouldn’t use it.
The population of Newtown and Llandrindod Wells and those in between is around 62,000 people, or 47 per cent of the Powys population.
CDS said: “The proposed crematorium should therefore be located between Newtown and Llandrindod Wells to ensure the facility provides access for the most residents as possible.”
They point out that people living north of and west of Newtown would be served by crematoria in Wrexham, and Aberystwyth, while those further south would be served by Llwydcoed (Aberdare).
Since the feasibility study was written, in December 2020 plans for a crematorium were submitted by Powys Crematorium Ltd.
In May, PCC’s planning committee approved the plans by to develop a site at Ael-y-Bryn, near Caersws.
But the application remains in limbo waiting for the Welsh Government to decide if it will “call in” the plans to be looked at by planning inspectors.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “This planning application is under active consideration for call-in, and a decision will be issued in the near future.”