Campaigners in Queensbury praised as future of Littlemoor Park is decided

Littlemoor Park, Queensbury.
Littlemoor Park, Queensbury.

Park campaigners have been praised for their work to keep a Queensbury facility from being developed as a crematorium.

The decision means that Littlemoor Park in Queensbury is no longer seen as a potential crematorium site.

For almost a year and a half the popular park has been on a shortlist of possible sites in the South of the District that a new crematorium could be built on.

As part of its latest Bereavement strategy, the Council is planning to close Scholemoor and Nab Wood Crematoria, which are both said to be operating beyond their working life, and replace them with two new facilities.

Last year it was revealed that Nab Wood would be replaced by a Crematorium on a site in Heaton. And yesterday the Executive voted to move forward with a plan to build Scholemoor’s replacement on the Bierley site.

Early plans for the site will see a wooded grove built around the building and a natural spring on the site used to create a water feature.

If the Council is unable to negotiate a sale with the site’s owners, officers have been instructed to begin a compulsory purchase order of the land.

Legal restrictions on where crematoria can be built – not within 200 yards of a home and 50 yards of a public road, mean there are few sites in Bradford where the new facilities can be built, the meeting was told.

A report to the Executive said: “The district’s crematoria buildings are all over 110 years old with Scholemoor built in 1905 as the only purpose built crematorium.

“All the existing sites have limited facilities and capacity, particularly within the chapels/service halls, whilst access to both Nab Wood and Scholemoor is less than satisfactory.

“Analysis of the service users at Scholemoor continues to demonstrate that postcodes BD4 and BD6 remain the highest in terms of numbers using the facility, providing one in every three cremations at the current site.

“The ideal location for a replacement facility is therefore as central as possible to these communities.”

It said Littlemoor Park had been discounted due to “the significant and increasing number of severe constraints now identified rendering the site unviable for such use.”

Members of the Friends of Littlemoor Park attended today’s meeting.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby said: “This is a huge piece of work that has been carried out over a number of years, and their work is very much appreciated.

“I would also like to thank the Friends of Littlemoor for all their campaigning. It would not have been my desire to build on the park.”

Councillor Robert Hargreaves (Cons, Queensbury) said: “I’m obviously very happy that Littlemoor is not on the list of crematoria sites, we finally got there.”

He said the Council should have worked closer with the Friends of Littlemoor group, adding: “They were saying two years ago this was an unsuitable site. The Council has spent money doing surveys on this site to find out what this group have said from the start.”

In response to Cllr Ferriby, he asked that if it was not her who wanted Littlemoor Park to be on the list of possible sites, who had pushed for it to be on that list.

She replied: “No one would wish to build on a park, but we had to make sure we could provide funeral services that would meet the needs of our district. It wouldn’t have been anyone’s first choice, but we have a duty to provide these services and we had to find a sustainable location.

“Littlemoor Park is not somewhere we ultimately needed to build on, but we had to include it on the list in case we did.”

Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “There are so few sites in the district that are suitable to build on.

“This will be an important facility for the people of our district for the next 40 to 50 years.”