The grounds of Perth Crematorium are currently designated as an area of ‘open space’ and for this reason the Council published notice of a proposal to appropriate parts of the external boundary of the grounds for use as as part of the creation of a new A9/A85 link road for Phase 1 of the Perth Transport Futures Project.
This Notice was published in The Courier on 7 and 14 November 2014 and following requests from community groups the deadline for lodging an objection was extended from Friday 28 November 2014 to Friday 5 December 2014.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is the road scheme being proposed?
The road scheme is being proposed by the Council to:
- Provide essential roads infrastructure which will support economic growth
- Improve air quality
- Alleviate current and future traffic congestion
The road will support the western expansion of Perth, which will create an estimated £500 million of public benefits. Without it, we risk losing business development land and thousands of new jobs and homes.
What is the proposed route for the link road?
The proposal is that the new link road will follow the existing Crematorium access road from Crieff Road for approximately 400 metres before travelling generally westwards between the Crematorium grounds and McDiarmid Park.
The proposed route of the road mainly affects the woodland area to the south of the Bluebell Garden, but it does encroach very slightly onto the outermost edge of the Garden. The extent of the Garden which would be affected by the proposed works has been marked out with small red/blue flags. Anyone visiting the Crematorium and seeing these should be aware that these flags have been placed to show the maximum impact of works, including wall foundations. The final boundary wall may be further away from the Gardens than the flags suggest.
An aerial photograph [231kb] of the area surrounding the Crematorium with the proposed road plan overlaid has been produced.
Have other routes for the road been considered?
The Council has considered other options for the layout of the road, but none of these have provided a viable alternative to the current proposal.
- Using a route to the north of crematorium would have a greater impact on the crematorium grounds and the adjacent housing development. It would need to run very close to the crematorium building. This option would not get approval from Transport Scotland, as the new junction would severely contravene current roads design standards as it would be too close to Inveralmond Roundabout.
- Using a route to the south of McDiarmid Park would have an unacceptable impact on St Johnstone Football Club and their operations, effectively cutting off their stadium from a significant part of their car park. It would also significantly impact on adjacent areas of private land designated for development in the Council’s Local Development Plan.
- Using the existing Crieff Road corridor would not resolve traffic congestion issues in this area and would cause severe and sustained disruption to Crieff Road traffic for the duration of construction. It would also have a very significant negative impact on local businesses.
- The original proposal, which received planning consent in 2012, was to use more land from McDiarmid Park including demolishing the North Stand. Since then, St Johnstone’s stance on demolishing the North Stand has changed and the Council has also received legal advice stating that the use of its powers of compulsory purchase to obtain this much privately-owned land could not be justified when alternative, publicly-owned land skirting the crematorium could be used.
Appendix 1 of the report to Council on 25 February explains the options considered.
What’s happening to memorials in the Bluebell Garden?
While the proposed route of the road does encroach very slightly into the Bluebell Garden the maximum extent of this has been determined, and at the very most four memorials will require to be relocated. We have spoken directly to the four families affected and offered them the choice to relocate the memorial permanently to another part of the garden, or to relocate it temporarily while work is ongoing and then return it to the new boundary wall or fence proposed as part of the scheme. We have reached agreement with three families and the remaining family has objected to the proposal.
Why is more land not being taken from McDiarmid Park to reduce the impact on the Crematorium?
The Council is currently in talks with the owners of McDiarmid Park about a Compulsory Purchase Order for the part of their land which is affected by the proposed road. Under Compulsory Purchase legislation the Council has a duty to use its powers in a proportionate manner, so that privately owned land is not disproportionately affected compared to neighbouring Council owned land. The road scheme therefore makes use of the existing Crematorium access road as it is already owned by the Council and means that less land needs to be taken from private owners.
The Council is also mindful of the need to minimise the impact on the Crematorium grounds and we believe the route proposed strikes the best balance between the requirements of Compulsory Purchase legislation, the interests of McDiarmid Park and maintaining the Crematorium.
The current access road to the Crematorium is used for overflow parking, will there be less parking available for people attending funerals if this proposal goes ahead?
We are aware that around 1-2 funerals per week the car parking available behind the main Crematorium building is not sufficient. Crematorium staff help manage this parking currently by guiding vehicles into the main car park and then managing parking at the edge of the Crematorium access road when the car park is full. To compensate for this and to help make parking at the Crematorium easier for visitors we are proposing a new driveway and overspill parking area within the Crematorium grounds.
The driveway will be created along the existing Spruce avenue within the Crematorium grounds. It is recommended that the path and parking surface will consist of a reinforced grass system to maintain the green appearance and parking bays will be under the existing trees in a similar style to parking at main country parks and forest areas. We know from Crematorium staff and feedback from the public that this area has been used for parking in the past, but stopped being used because of difficulties in exiting from the grounds. As a result the new proposals also include an exit on to the new link road from the end of the driveway. The exit would only be open when the overflow parking is any use.
Will anything be done to prevent noise from the road impacting on the Crematorium?
Perth Crematorium is beside a busy road already and standing in the Gardens it is possible to hear sounds from the family houses, Crieff Road and football supporters on a Saturday afternoon which border the grounds. The proposed boundary wall or fencing will create a more substantial barrier between McDiarmid Park and the Crematorium and the proposals also include noise abatement materials to further reduce any intrusive noises.
What will happen to the ground being removed from the Crematorium?
Perth Crematorium’s policy is that all grass cuttings, soil and fallen leaves from with the Crematorium gardens are collected and retained within the woodland off the Spruce avenue. That way they do not leave the grounds of the Crematorium. The same policy will apply to the top soil which is dug up to accommodate the link road and boundary wall. Any soil taken from an area of existing Crematorium grounds will be retained within the remaining land.
Will the proposals be of any benefit to the Crematorium?
The proposals give us an opportunity to make a number of improvements to the access and grounds of Perth Crematorium.
- Creating a new boundary wall between the Crematorium and McDiarmid Park will help to secure the grounds. In the summer months Crematorium staff regularly find empty drinks cans and other rubbish, and even tents and drugs paraphernalia in the trees at the edge of the Crematorium. The boundary wall will help to secure this entrance to help protect the Crematorium Gardens from anti-social behaviour.
- A new junction on the proposed link road with a new stone feature wall would give an improved access to the Crematorium driveway.
- The creation of overflow parking along the Spruce avenue, with an exit onto the proposed link road will make parking for mourners at larger funerals easier.
Information provided by Perth & Kinross Councils media team.