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Council Gets Second Opinion To Oppose Catran's Cremator After The First Approves  

The first consultant approached by Council gave a total clearance to Adrian Catran's cremator. Not satisfied, the Council then approached a second who it apparently hoped would provide them with the ammunition to enable them to turn it down.

Such turned out to be the case, but on reading the decision of this second consultant, it is clear that there are substantial defective assumptions and conclusions to provide quite adequate grounds for appeal. Adrian indicates in the press release below that will accompany the Council's own release that he will indeed take the matter to court through his legal representatives at the first opportunity.

It seems clear that certain individual Council staff members may have allowed their personal prejudice to prevail in this case. A sad day indeed for the town, and for Council impartiality.

You may judge for yourself the merits of the case by reference to the decision by the second Independant Planning Commissioner John Childs here.

And here is Adrian's release:

Twentymans Funeral Directors’ will appeal a decision announced yesterday to deny a crematorium that would service families of the Coromandel Peninsula wishing to cremate their loved one in the care of local people they trust.

“We have sought legal advice and will be lodging a formal objection to this decision. It’s a case of Council choosing to go against the advice of one consultant in favour of another, and all it means is more delays for families and cost to us,” says Twentymans managing director Adrian Catran.

Twentymans’ chose to apply for a Certificate of Compliance to establish a cremator at an historic building on its large commercial site at 608 Queen Street, Thames. This was to clarify what it sees as a lack of certainty in the TCDC District Plan related to establishing a cremator.

The crematorium will cater to human as well as pet cremations. Mr Catran says it is anticipated that just 170 cremations per year would be performed, amounting to 21 working days of operation.

No differentiation was made in the Thames Coromandel District Council’s decision between the operation of a cremator that caters for pets, and one which performs human cremations.

The application was assessed against the rules of both the Council’s proposed and operative District plans, and against relevant provisions of the National Environmental Standards for air quality.

“What the decision seems to say is that TCDC hasn’t mentioned cremators anywhere in its District Plan, therefore no-one would be able to lawfully establish one. By leaving out the word in its list of commercial activities, it just somehow disappears as a commercial service that’s needed in our area.

“The Commissioner who made the recommendation also suggests that it’s not an industrial activity either, because somehow a human body is not a type of material. It’s bureaucracy, and it just means that yet more families are denied the choice to cremate their loved one in the care of local people they trust.

 “There is a need for a cremator here. This is not about a big money spinner – I won’t see any return on the costs of this in my lifetime – but for families that wish to have their loved ones cremated close to home, it’s a loss.”

Mr Catran says it is particularly disappointing when the application, as assessed by an independent planning consultant engaged by TCDC, was given the go-ahead initially. This independent planner recommended that the application fully complied and should be allowed to proceed as a General Commercial Activity that provided a service to the public.

It noted that separate resource consent may have been required under the Waikato Regional Plan but should not affect the Certificate of Compliance.

However Council staff then engaged an RMA Commissioner who over ruled this recommendation.

“We will stand by our customers and our commitment to keeping local businesses employed with our service, and will be lodging an appeal,” says Mr Catran.




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Reader Comments (2)

In this year of the towns 150th celebrations, it is indeed pleasing to see whole-hearted support being offered to one of the town's oldest businesses.
As to your comment about council impartiality - that's a bit like democracy being for the people by the people - only when it suits bigger interests.

July 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRussell

..."It seems clear that certain individual Council staff members may have allowed their personal prejudice to prevail in this case. A sad day indeed for the town, and for Council impartiality."

Yes, and let's also not forget also that somehow council feels it's OK to have a Green party candidate still working for it and making important decisions that affect us all. This should not be allowed.

July 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCoromandel 49

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