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Ennis crematorium plan under fire

A PROPOSAL for the development of a crematorium on the outskirts of Ennis has come under fire from the man who has taken over plans for the construction of a similar facility in Shannon.

Jim Cranwell has acquired the interests of Illaunamanagh Ltd, which had originally been granted planning permission for a crematorium, chapel and remembrance garden in Shannon in March of 2009.

Last year, the local authority granted Mr Cranwell an extension of planning permission for the development at Illaunamanagh, and  he intends to begin construction within the next 12 months.

He is now urging Clare County Council to refuse an application for planning permission for another crematorium close to Ennis. The site is two kilometres south of Ennis and one kilometre to the west of Clarecastle and is currently zoned residential.

Late last year,  Fenloe Property Development Limited applied to the local authority for permission to construct a chapel, crematorium unit, furnace and remembrance gardens and cemetery at Ballaghfadda West on the Kildysart Road.

In a submission to the authority, in respect of Ennis facility, Gilleece McDonnell O’Shaughnessy Architects, acting on behalf of Mr Cranwell, state, “Mr Cranwell has informed us that he proposes to commence construction on his chapel and crematorium facility within the next 12 months and has engaged this practice to prepare the necessary documentation.”

It goes on, “Our client is investing in the Mid West Region, providing a crematorium facility service currently not available in the region and also bringing employment to the Shannon region during construction and operation of the facility. Based on my client’s feasibility studies and on the population base in the Mid West Region my client would contend that a second crematorium in the region would not be commercially viable and therefore we would strongly appeal to Clare County Council to refuse the crematorium element.”

Mr Cranwell also raises zoning issues and argues that a flood risk assessment is needed.

Among other submissions, An Taisce state there should be “certainty that the Shannon crematorium which received planning permission has become out of date and not relevant. There would not be enough for two so the Shannon (crematorium) must be confirmed as not viable before going ahead with this one.”

Other submissions highlight concerns about the environmental impact of the development on Ballybeg Lake, the Kildysart Road’s ability to deal with increased traffic, and the possible effects of air emissions. The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have also recommended that an Archaeological Impact Assessment be prepared.

A submission received by the HSE’s Environmental Health Officer has recommended that the crematorium be designed, constructed, operated and monitored in accordance with the UK’s Guidance for Crematoria and that an annual environmental report be submitted to the planning authority.

The HSE stated that “all operations shall be carried out to ensure that no nuisance from odour, fumes, smoke, dust or other matter occurs beyond the boundaries of the site.”

According to Fenloe Property Development Limited, if granted planning permission for the facility at Ballaghfadda, the aim is to make it a “market leader” throughout Europe, which would be operated to the highest standards.

A decision on the application is due next month.




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