Relocate Proposed Heaton Crematorium

Relocate Proposed Heaton Crematorium

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Zabeada Aslam started this petition to Bradford Council

We, the undersigned, are petitioning against the building of the Heaton Crematorium, which is to be located on a narrow country lane in the middle of a residential area. Crematoria have many negative impacts on their surroundings in residential areas including fumes, extra traffic and the destruction of yet more green spaces in Bradford. We are asking the council to consider our reasoning and respectfully reconsider building at the Heaton site.  We include suggestion for a possible relocation of the proposed crematorium on Old Allen Road for which there currently are plans for a cemetery.  There, the two can work more harmoniously together to provide a service to the people of Bradford for decades to come. 

Our reasoning is as follows:

1.       Increased traffic and fumes

As the population of Bradford increases, demand for cremations will also increase. The proposed capacity is up to 10 services a day, with ‘a potential to increase capacity’ in the future.  This will significantly increase the amount of traffic (100s more cars) along Cottingley Cliffe Rd/Bingley Rd/Toller Lane (and surrounding roads) as this will be the only viable route to the entrance.

Long Lane/Shay Lane is a small road that runs through Heaton woods with narrow parts of the road where 2 cars cannot pass.  Crematorium traffic will increase the amount of traffic on this road increasing the risk of accidents. A significant portion of the population in Heaton will not consider a cremation due to religious reasons; hence the visitors to the crematorium will not be walking but using some form of vehicular transport. 

Additionally, planning permission has been approved for the old Hallmark Card building to be converted into 385 residential properties.  This development will have its own associated traffic.  What possible traffic calming measures could be used to manage so much traffic on a road that is already at a standstill during rush hour?  The roads are already busy, and the proposed crematorium will add to exhaust fumes from the increased traffic, making air quality extremely poor. This fact alone makes a crematorium dangerous in a residential area. The health risks associated with crematoriums includes the release of mercury (from dental work) and metal particles that will materialise from people who have recently received hospital treatment some of which is new and experimental.  There is consensus that nanoparticles from car exhausts are dangerous to health and there is no easy way of removing them from the exhausts.  Fumes from the crematorium will only add to car fumes. How can you filter any of the nanoparticles released during a cremation in a residential area?

2.       Low emissions drive in Bradford - Clean Air Zone

The Clean Air Zone aims to improve air quality and the health of people in the district - particularly in the city centre, Shipley and Saltaire where pollution is highest.   The proposed Heaton crematorium lies on the boundary of this zone.  The proposed Clean Air Zone will lead to not just cars but also HGVs/buses re-routing from Bingley Rd/Bradford Rd to Cottingley Cliffe Rd/Bingley Rd/Toller Lane with possible bus routes being redirected from going through Shipley/Frizinghall to Cottingley Cliffe Rd/Bingley Rd/Toller Lane to get to the city centre.  At present there are no bus routes passing through Cottingley Cliffe Rd/Bingley Rd connecting Heaton to Cottingley so new bus routes will need to be added to access the crematorium.

The purpose of the Clean Air Zone is to improve the air quality in Bradford.  Having a crematorium on the boundary surely will undermine the millions of pounds of investment in the Clean Air Zone scheme. 

If you are not aware, this site is on top of a hill and is very windy. Having lived here for over 15 years, we know the temperament of our British weather on our hill and how quickly the wind can turn against us. If ashes are scattered on site, they will blow onto our property.  As a result, we will have to limit opening windows and allowing children to play in the garden.  We live together as an extended family in our area – our parents and grandparents use the gardens of the property to see out their retirements and see their grandchildren grow up and this is the main reason for us having bought the property – for quality of life and family time. We are horrified at the prospect of breathing in toxic fumes from human remains and having to keep indoors. A sort of life-long quarantine at times when fumes from ovens and ashes make their way into our gardens which I am sure you can understand and agree, is not good for our mental and physical health – something a world-wide pandemic has taught us. This is not acceptable and against our Human Rights – right to life and right to family life.

3.       Impact on natural beauty

The very large building/grounds of a crematorium provided by the council are imposing and will have a massive impact on the green belt site and on the view of all the residential properties nearby.  It is expected that as the population increases and cremations become more common place capacity will increase in decades to come to beyond the present maximum of 10 services per day.    If so, the site will need to be expanded.  At present, the crematorium is currently being squeezed in between 6 residential properties with a distance of 200m on one side (the legally required minimum distance) and 300m on the other.  There is no physical space for expansion in the future.  In order to expand, the crematorium will need to be relocated again when the ovens are at the end of their lifetime as is the case for the Nab Wood crematorium.  Therefore, we cannot see how the crematorium based at the Heaton site will be feasible in the long run and we see it as a butchering of our beautiful surroundings.

Possible Solution

As stated in the information provided by Bradford Council, the crematorium is for people in the Aire Valley and Bradford West.  However, another planning application has been submitted on Old Allen Road, between Thornton and Wilsden for a new multi-faith cemetery for 1000 graves.  This is a green belt area (as is the Heaton site).  More importantly, however, there are no residential dwellings close by.  Would it not make sense to include a crematorium in the Old Allen Road site?  This would eliminate/reduce the adverse affects of the Heaton site, namely increased traffic on Cottingley Cliffe Rd/Bingley Rd/Toller Lane, which currently undermines the Clean Air Zone initiative and will have adverse health effects on neighbouring properties. 

I would implore Bradford Council to reconsider building a crematorium on our doorstep.  The reason we bought this property was precisely because it is a green belt area and it was made clear to us when purchasing the properties that there would never be any development on it.  The presence of a crematorium so close, in combination with being on the boundary of the Clean Air Zone, will adversely affect our quality of life.

I ask you to please support us by signing this petition asking Bradford Council to reconsider the proposed building of a crematorium in Heaton.  Thank you.


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