CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a crematorium in Kilternan have been withdrawn following a lengthy process of permissions and objections between local residents, developers and the council.
Renewed attempts to build the crematorium at a site off the Ballycorus Road were fought by residents after the original plans were rejected by An Bord Pleanala.
It was also refused planning permission in 2012 as it was in contravention of local zoning. It successfully withstood a subsequent High Court challenge.
Hantise Ltd and Ashman Properties Ltd sought permission for a crematorium and cemetery at their 3.64 hectare site, but objectors said the land was prone to flooding and also referred to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that said the land had concentrations of lead in excess of guidelines for soil.
Other objections raised included fears surrounding emissions from the crematorium, limited access to the rural site and a lack of regulations surrounding the running of crematoria in Ireland, as there are no official Irish guidelines in place.
There is also a crematorium currently being developed by the council on the Shanganagh Road in Shankill, which is believed to be sufficient for the demand for cremations.
In October 2015, Cllr Neale Richmond (FG) tabled a motion to introduce a Specific Local Objective (SLO) to allow for the inclusion of the crematorium.
Due to the unpopular nature of the proposal, and after receiving a number of objections from residents, he “reluctantly” withdrew his motion at a council meeting last week.
Cllr Richmond said his reasons for raising the motion were that the county “really could do with two crematoria”. He said that people need to be “open to more sites”, and said that there was a lot of “drama” and “nimbyism”.
He added: “A crematorium beside a graveyard makes complete sense, rather than forcing people to go all the way to Mount Jerome [in Harold’s Cross].”
Chair of the Kilternan Glenamuck Residents’ Association, Aileen Eglington, spoke to The Gazette about the lengthy process of preventing the build from taking place.
She said: “We are so proud; it’s a success for democracy. This has been going on for years – that land was bought by developers some years ago when they were hoping that the land would be rezoned and it wasn’t. The land was zoned agricultural, but within this zoning regulation you can have a graveyard.”
Eglington said that she and other residents did a huge amount of research, including speaking to funeral directors and the EPA, and objected to the crematorium based on the unsuitability of the location and the lack of guidelines in place to ensure correct running of the service.
A spokesperson from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said that they disagree with the “principle of attaching an SLO that would in effect allow a ‘bespoke’ use only on this one specific site at Ballycorus, but that would not be universally available or applicable to all other such agriculturally-zoned sites elsewhere in the county.
“Such a proposal is considered inequitable and undermines the purpose of having a suite of tailored and targeted land use zoning objectives across the different and varied parts of the county.”