CAMPAIGNERS in a David and Goliath battle over a new crematorium are hoping the matter doesn’t end up in the High Court.
Lead activist for Hooton Cremation Action Group, Heather Shilliday, says the developers have five weeks to decide whether to take their rejected application to judges in London.
And if that happens, the campaigners say they cannot afford to fight the multi-million-pound scheme any further.
The Westerleigh Group wants to build the facility in Waterworks Lane, Hooton.
Its managing director Richard Evans says it would provide around 1,260 cremations a year, seating 96 mourners with another 150 standing.
The site would also have a garden of remembrance, landscaping and conservation scheme and four full-time and two part-time staff.
But after hearing from hundreds of residents both for and against the plan, the borough council rejected it in April 2007.
Westerleigh appealed to Communities and Local Government Secretary Hazel Blears but after a four-day public inquiry this summer she dismissed the appeal, saying the scheme would have spoilt the openness of the Green Belt.
Mrs Shilliday said of the campaign: “It was like David and Goliath, and thousands supported us in the local area because people did want to protect what little Green Belt we still have in Cheshire.
“We are hoping Westerleigh do not decide to take it to the High Court.”
She said the action group could not apply for Legal Aid to pursue the case in the higher court, if it went there.
And she added: “There was criticism of the company in the planning inspector’s report that they would get 50% of their business from Wales. So the crematorium would not have just been for this borough.”
Mrs Shilliday went on: “I want to thank all the people who have been so supportive and helped us out.
“We feel that right is might and the local people got together to protect their area.”
Mr Evans said: “We have not taken a decision yet. We have another month to look at it.”