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GREEN LIGHT: Crematorium chapel seating area expansion

GREEN LIGHT: Crematorium chapel seating area expansion

South Shields Crematorium, Image: Google

Plans to expand the main chapel seating area at South Shields Crematorium have been given the green light.

Back in September 2021, South Tyneside Council lodged an application with its own planning department for the facility off John Reid Road.

This included an ‘infill development’ of an existing four sided courtyard to maximise seating capacity within the building.

A design and access statement submitted with the council plans said the proposals aimed to “address capacity limitations in holding large funerals.“

The statement went on to say: “It has been noted that the current facility is dated, and the opportunity should be taken to modernise to form a fitting environment.”

Following consultation, the plans were approved by the council’s planning department on November 5, 2021.

A report prepared by planning officers deemed the scheme acceptable in terms of design, highway safety and impact on neighbours.

The planning report reads:  “It is acknowledged that the proposed increase in seating at the crematorium would allow for more visitors and as such further vehicles at the site.

“The applicant has mentioned within their supporting information that an application for further parking at the site (six spaces) will be submitted.

“However, they state that the current provision on site provides an excess of the number of spaces required and the extension is to provide a solution to an existing problem on site, therefore they do not anticipate the number of attendees changing.

“The council’s parking standards require such developments to provide one parking space per five seats, which would give an overall provision of 40 car parking spaces for the proposed 200 seats.

“There are currently 70 parking spaces within the site. As such there is an overprovision of parking to serve the crematorium.”

According to planning documents, the crematorium has been altered and extended several times since its construction in the 1960s.

Most recently in 2016, more than 30 extra parking spaces were created at the north west of the site to improve on-site parking and reduce on-road parking problems.

The proposed extension to the chapel seating area will provide an extra 88sqm of floor space, resulting in seated capacity for around 200 people.

Council planning documents also state that the ability to hold services at South Shields Crematorium will need to be maintained throughout the construction period.

The planning decision report adds: “It is therefore proposed that construction would take place over four days, with mid-week services remaining.

“Weekend construction working would therefore be required based on the current construction proposals outlined.”

For more information on the planning application, visit South Tyneside Council’s online planning portal and search reference:ST/0845/21/LAA


Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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