Controversial plans for a crematorium in a village off the A5 have been thrown out.

The plans, by Westerleigh, would have seen a new crematorium built on land in Nesscliffe between Oswestry and Shrewsbury.

The plans were the subject of concerns by the RAF and MoD over the amount of helicopter training operations it carries out over the site.

And members of Shropshire Council’s Central Planning Committee refused the proposals, saying it was in the wrong location.

It was voted down by four votes to three.

Councillor Ed Potter, local member, said he had concerns over a number of issues, including over-development and its location close to a chicken farm.

“We are already known as the chicken capital of Shropshire and there is one very close to the site,” he added.

“There will also be noise from overhead helicopters to the Nesscliffe army site.

“You could not think of a worse place to hold a cremation, with the smell of chickens and the sound of gun fire and helicopters.

“It will also have a serious impact on the view from the beauty site as well.”

Councillor Pam Moseley, committee member, added: “When someone as important as the RAF says they will be doing something, they will be doing it.

“I feel the helicopter noise should not be dismissed.”

Bit John Adams, chairman of the Shrewsbury branch of the National Association of Funeral Directors, said: “Last year we had six weeks wait for a cremation in the area and this will help solve that.” 

Prior to the meeting, the RAF says it will direct any noise complaints from funeral goers about its helicopters to Shropshire Council, after plans for a crematorium were recommended for approval.

The proposal was deferred in March over concerns raised by the RAF over low flying training and noise.

The RAF said it will soon be back to 1,300 helicopter movements a month at the site and warned it would not change its programme or “risk collisions”.

A spokesman for RAF Shawbury said: “We will soon be up to 1,300 approaches a month. 

“This will create an almost persistent presence in and around the Nesscliffe Training Area, with constant use of Pigeon Wood. 

“The effect of our flying training will be to introduce potentially significant noise into the proposed crematorium area on a constant basis.

“It should be noted that I will not be able to alter the current flying pattern in and around the Nesscliffe training area. 

“I would like to place on record that if RAF Shawbury receives noise complaints relating to the proposed crematorium, the complainants will be referred to Shropshire Council’s Planning Department.”

In his report to the committee, Kevin Hall, planning case officer, said: “This application was presented to the March meeting of the central planning committee, with an officer recommendation that planning permission is granted subject to conditions. 

“At that meeting members resolved that consideration of the application be deferred to a future meeting of the committee to allow the opportunity for a more independent need assessment and an additional noise assessment. 

“Since that time, in line with the request of members, officers have commissioned an independent assessment of the need for the crematorium.”

He added: “A noise impact assessment has been undertaken to support the proposed development.

“Due to the close proximity of the A5 trunk road, vehicle noise is considered the key noise source likely to impact the proposed development.”