AN appeal to overturn Blaenau Gwent planners refusal of allowing a storage building to be used as a pet crematorium, has been rejected by Welsh Government planning inspectors.

Last year Russell Lloyd lodged a planning application with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council to change the use of Unit G, Crown Business Park Road in Dukestown, Tredegar from an existing storage building to a B2 “sui generis” class.

This was to allow the building to be used to house an animal incinerator.

However, a Blaenau Gwent Borough Council planning officer refused the application last October.

Blaenau Gwent planners explained that the application had refused because:  “Insufficient information has been submitted to demonstrate that the development would not have a detrimental impact upon the health, amenity or natural environment of the surrounding area as a result of unacceptable airborne emissions.”

Due to this they believed the application to be contrary to policies in the Blaenau Gwent Local Development Plan.

In his appeal submission to PEDW (Planning and Environment Decisions Wales) Mr Lloyd said that the business has been given “full approval” by the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) which is part of the UK Government’s Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs to (DEFRA) to operate a low capacity incinerator.

Bigger incinerators would need to have an environment permit from Natural Resources Wales, (NRW) before they would be allowed to operate.

Mr Lloyd said: “All the correct supporting documents have been provided for this equipment.

“We feel the council probably have limited understanding on this equipment and the application is requiring information that would not be relevant for the approval of low capacity incinerators.”

PEDW planning inspector Zoe Baxter said: “I have no reason to doubt that the incinerator would comply with the requirements of APHA and DEFRA.

“However, separate forms of regulatory controls will usually involve different thresholds and considerations.

“Within the planning system, creating sustainable places that are attractive, sociable, and healthy amongst other things, is a key planning principle.

“In this context, clean air is an important contributor to a positive experience of place as well as being necessary for public health, amenity and well-being.”

She explained that the council had asked for more information so that they could calculate how high the incinerator chimney stack should be to safely disperse air pollutants.

Ms Baxter had visited the site in May and had seen that the chimney flue that had been installed is “lower” than the buildings around it.

She “acknowledged” the incinerator is described as low capacity but due to the lack of air quality assessment Ms Baxter said she “did not know” if the chimney stack height would deal with emissions “without” harming the locality and its residents.

Ms Baxter said: “I conclude that there is insufficient information to demonstrate that the proposal would not have an unacceptable effect on health, amenity and the local environment and having regard to all matters raised, the appeal is dismissed.”