A PLANNING application has been submitted to Northumberland County Council which, if successful, could see a pet cremation service open.

Jo-Anne Garrick Ltd has applied, on behalf of Resting Paws and the Wheelbirks Estate Company, for the change of use to part of an agricultural storage building on land south of Wheelbirks Farm, Stocksfield.

It is proposed for a pet incinerator to be installed in the building, which has been on site since, at least, 1842.

The building is divided into three small units.

A planning statement has asked for permission to be sought to change approximately 33m squared of the 57m squared building to accommodate the pet incinerator and associated generator unit.

The remaining 24m squared of the building and adjacent barn would remain in agricultural use.

The statement said both the incinerator and generator would be used by the owner of Resting Paws - a new pet cremation business proposed to be established.

Resting Paws would serve both private individuals and local veterinary practices.

The site would not be be visited by any members of the public; the deceased animal would be collected from either the vets or the owners’ home, transported securely in a van to the site, and individually cremated, with 100 per cent of the ashes returned to the owner.

At full capacity, the incinerator would cremate between five and six animals per day and be used between 10am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.

It is proposed to use the Addfield PET-200 pet cremation machine incinerator.

The business, which will incorporate a pet bereavement counselling service, would have one employee but if successful, there could be potential for more staff in the future.

The business would be operated from an established unit at Wheelbirks Farm.

Two minor external alterations are proposed - a larger door and a small flue. Internally, new floors will be installed.

The statement concludes that if permission were to be granted, it would support the creation of a new micro business in a rural area, which is a more effective use of the existing building.

The incinerator is said to meet the required technical standard and would thus, have no negative impact on the surroundings or environment.