Crematorium Planning Application – New Inns Lane, Frankley


I wanted to write and update residents about what is proving to be a long line of smears being put about both on social media and in the Bromsgrove Standard newspaper by a Tory Candidate in Northfield.

This time it’s an allegation from the Conservative candidate that that local Labour Councillors and the local MP (I’m assuming she is having a go at me rather than the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove), “have not seen fit to inform” local residents over a planning application to build a crematorium next to New Inns Lane in the Frankley area on the Bromsgrove/Birmingham border. The result, the candidate claims, is that the application has “gone through without residents being properly consulted.”

Unfortunately, this all seems designed to generate more heat than light, presumably for electoral reasons.

So here are the facts. A Planning Application has indeed been submitted to build a crematorium near New Inns Lane. The application was submitted to Bromsgrove District Council, not to Birmingham. Bromsgrove Council (which incidentally is Conservative controlled, not Labour controlled) decided, for reasons best known to themselves, that they would not inform me about the application, as the local MP on the Birmingham side of the border. Not only that, but it seems they took no action to directly inform elected Councillors on the Birmingham side of the border either. I have no idea if the Conservative MP for Bromsgrove was informed. Either way, the end result was that few local residents knew anything about it either.

Having heard about the crematorium proposal from other sources, I approached Bromsgrove Council and asked for details of the Planning application and timescales for consultation. I was told the application had not yet “gone through” but that a consultation period would end on Monday 15 September, after which a decision on it would be made by a Planning Official at Bromsgrove Council.

I responded by writing to the Council, asking for residents on the Birmingham side of the border to be consulted on the application, as well as any on the Bromsgrove side. I also raised concerns about traffic issues and asked for more information and discussion about access to the proposed crematorium from New Inns Lane. In the light of Bromsgrove’s not having consulted me and others on the Birmingham side of the border up to date, I also asked for the consultation period to be extended. I am awaiting a reply to that letter.

In the meantime, Opposition Labour Councillors in Bromsgrove had already asked the Council to overturn its plan to delegate the authority to make a decision on the issue to a Planning official. The Labour Councillors called instead for the crematorium planning application to be discussed in public at a full meeting of Bromsgrove’s Planning Committee. I am working with Bromsgrove’s Labour councillors on this. They tell me that their request has now been agreed. The date of the meeting at has, however, not yet been finalised.

So there you have it. Not quite the picture being painted by the Northfield Tory candidate. But I guess she will have to answer for herself.

In the meantime, I’m keen to hear residents’ views, particularly those living in the area around New Inns Lane. Please e-mail me at

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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