A HEARING will take place in July to decide whether a crematorium will be built near Caersws.

At the end of August 2021 plans by Powys Crematorium Limited to build an all-new crematorium as well as a garden of remembrance at a 13.66-hectare site north of the B4568 road at land formally known as  Ael Y Bryn between Caersws and Aberhafesp were called in to be decided in Cardiff by a government minister.

On January 20, all concerned parties were told that they needed to submit their arguments for and against the scheme within a four-week period finishing on February 17.

A decision was expected soon afterwards.

But now a hearing will take place where a planning inspector will test the evidence submitted with the application.

The inspector will then provide advice and  a recommendation to the Welsh Government minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, who will make the ultimate decision.

A Welsh Government spokesman said:  “The hearing will take place virtually via Microsoft Teams and is scheduled to open on July 5.”

Back in May 2021, councillors on Powys County Council’s (PCC) planning committee approved the proposal.

Powys County Councillor for Dolforwyn, Cllr Gareth Pugh who was re-elected on May 6, is the sole director of Powys Crematorium Ltd and was a member of the planning committee in May 2021.

When the application was discussed, he declared an interest and was not in the meeting when the decision was taken.

Powys Crematorium Ltd bosses said they were  “disappointed” the application was called in, and “are confident” their scheme will stand up to “the fullest scrutiny.”

But one objector to the scheme, David Evans, questioned in a submission to the planning inspectorate whether the proposal is “commercially viable”.

Mr Evans was also disappointed that no other sites were considered by the developer.

He believes the crematorium "will overwhelm the open countryside and minor road network in many respects, not least safety”.

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Alan Southerby, planning agent for the applicants said: “No objections have been raised by any statutory, or non-statutory, consultee.

“There are no highways objections to the scheme.”

Mr Southerby also points to a feasibility study written for the council on whether there is a need for a Crematorium in Powys.

Mr Southerby said: “The conclusions of the report seem clear, demonstrating that there is a need for a new crematorium in Powys, located so as to maximise benefits for the areas of largest population in the county, ideally in the area between Newtown and Llandrindod Wells.”

He explained that the next step of the process would be to identify a site closest to the best “target location,”

Mr Southerby said: “No other site has come forward other than the application site.”

Powys County Council said: “The Local Planning Authorit acknowledges that a number of concerns have been raised and welcomes the opportunity to appraise these at any future hearing.”

Anyone who wishes to observe the Virtual Hearing should e-mail PEDW.casework@gov.wales and quote reference APP/T6850/V/21/3281704 and clearly state they wish to observe the event.