Friday, 4 July 2014

Hot topic at Houndwood!

Houndwood Crematorium

You know, they say there's no smoke without fire and I was amused this week to read about the power of one individual over the operators of a new crematorium at Houndwood near Coldingham in the Scottish Borders.

According to the Daily Record, which I read in the Auchterness Executive Toilet the other day, Dr Fraser Quin has threatened to enforce a 1902 law which states that funeral bosses must get approval from property owners living within 200 yards of their operation before they can fire up their ovens – and his house is 183 yards away so the opening of the £2million crematorium has been blocked. Like Glasgow School of Art only a few weeks ago, this is obviously a burning issue for Dr Quin but many of his neighbours see it differently - some have given the facility a warm hello while others are raking the ashes of resentment.

It is a strange tail. The new crematorium is housed in an old church which is a listed building. Regular Auchterness readers will know that the obvious answer to this would have been to demolish the building and turn the site into a development opportunity for housing. But sadly it was not to be - some bright spark got all fired up about this and before you could say 'towering inferno', the operators cooked up a plan which has now gone from the frying pan literally into the fire. They should have done their homework because now their ideas are toast!

Dr Quin doesn't want this facility and who could blame him. He's looking for £350,000 from the operators to buy his house. He is assuming they have money to burn. Many neighbours would doubtless follow suit as they will soon get fed up with the dreary parade of long faces and the smoke signals from the church getting their washing dirty, not to mention 'Angel' by Robbie Williams booming out daily from the humanist events of daft families with no taste.

This is a great story about how an individual - stubborn by his own admission but perhaps with time to burn researching his rights - can face down a silly proposal and in effect, fight fire with fire.

My hearty congratulations go out to Dr Quin - lang may his lum reek! Cheeriebye from Auchterness and have a great weekend.


Kath Freeman said...

Dr Quin has by his selfish actions deprived three local people of jobs. He has also deprived people from having their funeral service/cremation in a location near to their home. Currently local people have to travel to Edinburgh or Melrose for cremations -a journey over over an hour each way in most cases. Funerals and the loss of a loved one are distressing enough without having to travel some distance to the service.

Dr Quin had ample opportunity when the planning application was made to object but chose not to and supported the development at the time.

Modern cremation equipment has to meet very stringent tests, all of which this crematorium has met, and there certainly is no smoke or toxic emissions from modern cremations. It is high time that the laws surrounding cremation and crematorium are updated to take into account current equipment.

Perhaps Dave you should read the regulations that are now necessary for a crematorium to be passes by SEPA before you write a diatribe about something you clearly have no current knowledge of.

Dave Thompson said...

Hello Kath

Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. Thanks for joining the debate - I appreciate your point of view and many thanks for bringing these points to my attention.

With best wishes - yours in planning

Dave T

Anonymous said...

Simple solution; Kath Freeman should move into Dr Quin's house as she doesn't mind having a human body incinerator and bone crusher next door. Sorted.