THE outcome of an appeal over a proposed crematorium in Hooton will be announced next month.
Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, says she will decide on the controversial scheme on or before September 12.
She appointed a planning inspector to hold a three-day public inquiry at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall and later the Quality Hotel in Little Sutton in April. He is now preparing a report.
Crematorium Management Ltd wants to build the facility on a field in Waterworks Lane.
It would provide 1,260 cremations a year, seat 96 people with another 150 standing, have a garden of remembrance, a landscaping and conservation scheme and four full-time and two part-time staff.
But the scheme was turned down by the borough’s planning committee which declared it would fail to safeguard the countryside from encroachment.
Describing it as “probably the single most controversial application we have ever had”, councillors added they were not satisfied there was a compelling need for a crematorium at the site and were concerned about the possible effects on protected great crested newts there.
About 100 supporters and Hooton Crematorium Action Group protesters attended the planning meeting.
A spokesman for the Westerleigh Group said there had at the time of the application been “overwhelming grassroots support” for the crem.
He added: “We felt we owed it to the many people in the borough who supported us to appeal. We trust the planning inspector will come to the right decision.”