Farmers’ unanswered questions about the £6.5 Mepal crematorium

11:28 am April 5, 2022

A farmer whose land surrounds the £6.5 crematorium project in Mepal has asked lawyers to raise noise, dust and boundary issues.

PJ Lee & Sons Ltd of Ely own land to the north, west and south of the former outdoor sports center which was demolished to make way for the crematorium.

But their solicitor told East Cambridgeshire District Council that despite owning nearby land, they had not even been consulted about the crematorium.

“Nor can we see that he was included on any of the published lists of neighbors to notify,” says PJ Lee.

“We consider this to be odd and would appreciate it if you could confirm why our customers have not received official notice of the request.”

PJ Lee says they have three main concerns.

First, they say people are encroaching on their land to access the lake inside the outer center lot to (illegally) fish in the lake.

PJ Lee says they have a right of way along Blockmoor Drove that separates their land from the site, but trespassers often park there, causing problems for their farm machinery to pass.

“Sometimes this has created difficulties and delays in maneuvering these machines and vehicles past parked cars,” says PJ Lee. “Sometimes access was completely blocked.”

PJ Lee says they haven’t seen any proposals to secure the western border to prevent or deter trespassers and illegal fishing.

The farming family says their land is occupied year-round.

“Vehicles and machinery using these routes and access points are bulky and particularly noisy,” explains PJ Lee.

During the summer months and when the harvest is in progress, “a lot of dust is created”.

Their lawyer says the issue of boundaries is still unresolved and they would like to know what measures are in place to “address or reduce the impact of noise or dust on the site”.

The crematorium, being built by East Cambridgeshire District Council, will have a memorial garden, natural burial areas, a pet cemetery, parking and new access .

Fenland’s board raised questions about whether it was necessary.

It will be less than 10 miles from March, where a crematorium opened 11 years ago.

Gavin Taylor, senior development management officer at Fenland Council, said “it is best practice for the council to be able to establish the need for development”.

On the East Cambridgeshire District Council planning portal, this is the application: 21/01216/F3M | Construction of a crematorium and an associated service and administration building, a civil service building, a memorial garden, natural burial areas, an animal cemetery, a car park, new access for vehicles from the A142 to the north of the site and landscaping | Mepal Outdoor Center Chatteris Road Mepal Ely Cambridgeshire CB6 2AZ