Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 4, 2018

Aughton Pet Crematorium Row

When the “Change of Use” of a barn to a pet crematorium, including a 1500 litre fuel tank and additional hard standing to the rear of a building at Lime Tree Barn 59 Winifred Lane Aughton was proposed, there was considerable opposition to it.

The proposal declares “Lime Tree Farm to be a registered agricultural holding extending to 6.5 hectares and is proposed for conversion of an existing barn situated in the western corner of the farm/stable yard into a pet crematorium. The pet cremator would be supplied and installed by Addfield Environmental Systems Ltd of Cannock. The type SB/AB dual loading cremator is stated to be approved by DEFRA and has controlled emissions that indicate levels well within parameters for smallholdings and residential margins” .

Aughton Parish Council stated “Members had no objections in principle to the proposal providing the use conforms with WL Local Plan Policy and meets the approval/conditions of any statutory undertakers”.

E-mails sent on behalf of the occupants of Winifred Lane included a number of concerns and objections. They involved traffic, with access for customers via an existing gate & track more-or-less opposite to the junction of Granville Park with Winifred Lane . Winifred Lane is already busy, particularly at certain times of day, and the section in front of no.59 is very narrow and forms a blind double-bend; it is already particularly difficult when used by agricultural equipment or the regular bus service. We are worried that traffic entering or leaving the proposed access will present an additional hazard.

It is believed that at least some users, rather than make their way around to the proposed parking area, will take the easy option of parking on the road. This will cause an obstruction and make this section of road even more dangerous.

There is worry about emissions from the incineration process. The prevailing winds in this area are westerly to south-westerly so Winifred Lane is generally down-wind of Lime Tree Barn. Although the supporting documentation seeks to play it down, “we believe from the quoted emissions figures that, when the incinerator is operating, the level of certain pollutants will be appreciably higher than from passing traffic. This is of particular concern for people with breathing difficulties due to chronic pulmonary disease. More generally, given the high proportion of older people among our neighbours and, at the other end of the scale, the proximity of a children’s play area, this could cause a wider problem”.

“Lime Tree Barn is in a Conservation Area. Is an incinerator permitted in such an area and, if it is, would a roadside sign advertising the business be allowed?

“Finally, although the application is specifically for a pet crematorium, with the ashes removed by the customers, we are concerned lest, if it is granted, the operators might seek to expand their business venture.

“For all the above reasons, but principally from the viewpoint of traffic safety and of emissions, we wish to register our objection to the application”.

Some residents weren’t included as possible consultees. Some pointed out there are already two pet crematoria within half an hour of Aughton, at Leyland and Runcorn. Some were concerned about the size of animals to be cremated as large animals eg horses, require large lorries and noisy chains and winches, although ultimately this was not relevant.

“We would need assurance that there would be no noxious fumes or other pollution which would impact on the use of gardens directly opposite this property. We think the proposed hours of use are too long, especially the early start, when all the school buses are leaving Aughton. We particularly object to proposed use on a Saturday morning at 8am. We think such an application should have been advertised to many more residents in the area, as potentially the affects could cover a wide area.

“We hope these points receive due consideration. It is essentially a prime residential area and we feel we have been totally left in the dark about this application until it is too late to get any expert or legal representation”.

There were 103 case documents between 2 January to 27 July 2018 leading to a decision that “In respect of application number 2018/0003/COU received on 2 January 2018 and in pursuance of its powers under the above-mentioned Act and Order, West Lancashire Borough Council as Local Planning Authority, having considered your application, hereby grants permission for: Change of use of barn to pet crematorium, including 1500 litre fuel tank and additional hardstanding to rear of building. at: Lime Tree Barn, 59 Winifred Lane, Aughton, Ormskirk”.

It came with the condition among others that “The chimney shall not be erected until details of its colour have been submitted to and agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. Thereafter the chimney shall be installed in accordance with the approved details”. Readers might wonder if noxious emissions, traffic, and what happens in a conservation area received as much attention as did the colour of the chimney?

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