Prince and Princess of Wales potential visit to National Military Dogs Memorial unveiling in Flintshire
The Prince and Princess of Wales could be making a visit to Flintshire for the unveiling of a National Military Dogs Memorial next year.
A retrospective change of use planning application has been lodged by Holywell Pet Cemetery with the council seeking permission for its new car park and widening of access to the facility.
The design and access statement submitted with the application references the memorial and says as well as the potential Royal visit, there may also be a Red Arrows fly past as part of the event.
It states: “Established in June 2018, this splendid memorial will be officially opened next year – and very likely by the Prince and Princess of Wales and with a flypast by the Red Arrows.
“A significant event for both Flintshire and the region – and of course a credit to the operators.”
According to the application the pet cemetery attracts around 50,000 visitors per year.
There are in the region of 500 headstones for pets and working animals ranging from horses, cats and dogs to gerbils – and from all over the UK and abroad. These attract repeat visits for guests wishing to attend the site to remember their pets.
Currently there are 30 full-time and 10 part-time staff working at the facility.
According to the owners of the cemetery, the work has been undertaken due to a lack of space and to be able to meet increased demand.
The design and access statement outlines this: “The cemetery regularly receives emails from guests who say that they have come to the centre and have not been able to park.
“It is a huge frustration to persons wishing to visit the graves of their beloved pets – and especially after travelling from across the UK.
“For several years, negotiations have taken place with both the Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council to try to achieve more additional land for the cemetery.
“Negotiations have also taken place with neighbours to attract more space, but all without success.
Consequently, this put huge pressure on the parking situation and the issue had to be addressed.”
The applicants have also apologised for the work having already taken place but say it has had a positive impact that is also of benefit to other parties.
“Firstly, the owners wish to offer their sincere apologises with regards to not having submitted a planning application for the new car park and upgrade to the existing access”, the statement adds.
“Mistakenly, it was assumed that it was a deemed permission under existing uses and also utilising an existing access; gateway; and track to a neighbour’s field.
“The new gates are to the highest specifications and design – and as expected being adjacent to the new National Working Dogs Memorial. The upgraded drive and new car park are to the highest specification – and with surface water drainage into the main in the highway.
“However, this also allows discrete access for the delivery of gas (which was an issue before, as this caused significant health and safety issues as it had to access via public car parking – and had to complete complex movements to turn around to exit the site).
“Since completion, the car park has facilitated greater access to the cemetery; removed illegal parking on the highway – and the access and car park have been used for instance by Welsh Water, Flintshire Council’s Streetscene Operators when attending to local roads and undertaking grass cutting.”
Flintshire Council planners will make a decision on the retrospective application at a future date.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).