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Council to narrow down list of locations for new crematoria in the district

Councillors are being asked to narrow down a list of locations for two new crematoria in the district.

Bradford Council is planning a £17 million overhaul of existing bereavement provision and as part of the process has enlisted the services of Bradford-based specialist construction consultants Rex Proctor and Partners.

Around 3,000 cremations each year are currently carried out at three crematoria managed by Bradford Council.

The district’s existing six cremators, three at Scholemoor, two at Nab Wood and one at Oakworth, are almost two decades old and operating four years beyond the manufacturer’s stated working life.

This results in maintenance costs rising in each of the last three years due to their age and the increasing cost of replacement parts.

The Bereavement Strategy includes refurbishing Oakworth Crematorium to install new mercury filtering technology and constructing two new crematoria. An extension to the Muslim burial ground at Scholemoor Cemetery is also part of the plan.

A report to the Council’s Executive says that the five proposed sites for the new crematoria, three private and two Council-owned, should be narrowed down to four.

The options were Littlemoor Park in Queensbury, Northcliffe Park in Shipley, and three privately-owned sites whose locations cannot be revealed at this stage due to commercial confidentiality.

Based on initial findings, the consultants have recommended that Northcliffe Park in Shipley should be removed from the list of possible locations for a new crematorium to replace the one at nearby Nab Wood. The final report, advising on the best two sites from the remaining four options, will be presented to the Executive for decision in April.

The experts identified access problems to the Northcliffe site which could not be overcome.

Coun Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People and Places, said: “I am pleased we are making progress in choosing the right location for new crematoria.

“I know that the Friends of Northcliffe Park will be pleased to hear this news today. I know they have been very concerned. However this is a major investment in the district and its bereavement services for the future and we have very limited choice of sites. We have to explore every option.

“We need to progress these works due to the age of the existing facilities, ensuring that residents within the district have access to reliable, modern and up to date crematoria when they need to hold the funeral of a loved one.”

At a meeting at City Hall on 8 January next year, members of the Executive will be asked to approve the removal of Northcliffe Park from the list of possible sites for the new crematoria.

They will also be asked to give officers permission to begin negotiations over acquiring the land for the new crematoria.