An application by owners of Chesterfield Pet Crematorium for a change of use from commercial unit in 2e and 2f Church View Business Park, Clay Cross, was discussed by North East Derbyshire District Council’s Planning Committee on Tuesday (July 26).
Applicant Richard Slack said he and his business partner wanted to deliver a dignified service for pet owners, offering them an alternative to large corporations.
He said several venues had been considered, but the industrial unit seemed the natural choice for the enterprise, which had been confirmed by the Environmental Health officer.
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However planning officers disagreed, recommending the application for refusal on the grounds that the chosen industrial park had been allocated in the Local Plan for WC2 ‘clean businesses’, with low emissions.
Mr Slack maintained that the Pet 200 cremator he planned to use was Defra approved.
He commented: “The cremation process itself is performed by a Defra approved machinem, which is energy efficient and reburns smoke and odours prior to its release.
“All you can see is an occasional heat shimmer, so no impact on our neighbours.”
Assistant Director of Planning Richard Purcell explained the issue came down to the fact that crematoriums don’t fit into a particular category of use, bringing into question whether they belonged in a ‘clean business’ area.
He commented: “That business park is intended in the Local Plan to be for what we call clean research, development, light industrial uses.
“We’re not questioning Environmental Health at all, who say that it’s fine, indeed with modern day emissions controls we wouldn’t expect that this would be creating anything that is harmful to the air.”
He asked councillors to consider whether the business could put other enterprises off moving to the park.
Councillor David Hancock added: “The evidence in front of us is that it is clean, we’ve been told that by Environmental Health, we’ve been told that by Defra.
“We’ve got to balance evidence over speculation and there’s nothing in front of us to say anyone would refuse to go there because there’s a pet crematorium there.”
However Councillor Mark Foster disagreed, stating: “There is no evidence that it’s clean, all that’s happened is that nobody has objected to it.”
He said it would inevitably give off some fumes, which was why the application included a flue.
The applicant lost out when it came to the vote, with six members voting in favour of the planning officers’ recommendation to refuse permission and five voted against it.