Plans to build what would have been the only pet cemetery in Gloucestershire have been rejected over concerns it will impact an area of outstanding natural beauty, writes Carmelo Garcia.
Time Right Ltd proposals for Limekiln Farm in Middle Lypiatt near Stroud were debated by Gloucestershire County Council planners on Thursday.
Their proposal included using a field as a pet cemetery, have a waste transfer station for the temporary storage of clinical waste and the retention of two cremators and extended office building.
However, more than 30 people objected to the scheme over the impact it would have on the protected landscape of the Cotswolds area of outstanding natural beauty.
They also felt it was not an appropriate location, could pollute an aquifer, have a negative impact on air quality and would cause traffic congestion. And several objectors called on the planning committee to reject the scheme.
Planning agent John Wilkes spoke in favour of the proposal and called on councillors to grant permission.
He explained how the company prides itself on delivering a service to their customers and has invested heavily in the latest equipment to meet environmental standards.
He said: “They take pride in dealing with all the pets entrusted to their care with dignity and respect.
“There has been a crematorium service at the site for some 30 years following planning approval in the early 1990s.
“All this planning application seeks is permission for is the regularisation of a small extension to the office, the incinerators used and the use of a small internal area of the existing storage shed for the temporary storage of waste.”
Division councillor Chloe Turner (G, Minchinhampton) said she was none the wiser what the real benefits of the new pet cemetery are which would outweigh the harm to the AONB.
She said Stroud District Council noted there is the potential for an increase in vehicle movements to the site arising from the proposals.
“My primary concern is that we are looking at a much higher and cumulative number of movements as yet undisclosed relating to the bereaved pet owners with a clear incentive to return.
“Given the impact on vulnerable road users and the character of the area of outstanding natural beauty I urge the committee to refuse this application.”
Planning officers had recommended granting permission and Cllr Robert Vines (C, Brockworth) proposed approving the proposals and this was seconded by Cllr Terry Hale (C, Drybrook and Lydbrook).
However, the motion was voted down by nine votes to six. A subsequent proposal by Cllr Nick Housden (C, Stonehouse) and seconded by Cllr Susan Williams (C, Bisley and Painswick) to reject the scheme was passed by nine votes to six.