PLANNING permission has been granted for a pet crematorium in Ennis – despite objections from a sole mystery objector living 141 miles away.

An Bord Pleanála has now cleared the way for Ennis couple, Aimee and Danny Keller to build their pet crematorium at a unit at Gort Road Business Park in Ennis.

However, the project has been delayed by four months after an appeal was lodged against the Clare County Council grant of permission last November by a ‘Don Weldon’ from Navan, Co Meath.

In a response to the appeal by planning consultants for the Kellers, P Coleman & Associates raised questions with An Bord Pleanála if ‘Don Weldon’ is a real person.

The address provided by ‘Don Weldon’ is a numbered house at Ros na Ri, Commons Rd, Navan, Co Meath.

A desk top legal investigation carried for Aimee and Danny Keller on the person purporting to be Don Weldon determined that the numbered Ros na Ri dwelling is the home of a Dawn Weldon and Ms Weldon is an employee of a Trim based pet crematorium, Pawprints Cremation.

In her submission to An Bord Pleanála, planning consultant, Mandy Coleman said that the Keller investigation involved Land Registry and Registry of Voters searches.

Speaking on Wednesday, Aimee Keller said that she was “ecstatic” to secure planning permission. However, on the question of the Don Weldon appeal, Ms Keller stated: “I personally feel that it may not have been a bona fide appeal and I don’t think Don Weldon is a real person.”

Ms Keller said: “It is very odd that someone from Navan could lodge an appeal and be concerned about local site issues such as adequate parking here.”

Ms Keller said that the appeal lodged by ‘Don Weldon’ did delay the project for four months. She stated: “What is worth fighting for is worth getting.”

The submission by Ms Coleman told An Bord Pleanála that based on the findings of the investigation “our clients have serious concerns if Don Weldon is a bona fide person particularly given the fact that Dawn Weldon who is heavily involved in the Paw Prints Pet Crematorium in Trim also lives at the same address as the appellant”.

Ms Coleman asked the appeals board to dismiss the appeal based on the information provided without deciding on the planning arguments in the appeal.

Don Weldon retained a Dublin based planning consultancy to lodge a detailed 12 page appeal on his behalf.

The appeal argued, “Our client has serious reservations in relation to the proposed development in terms of the proposed use in this location, environmental impact and traffic impact of this proposal”. The appeal also raised concerns over the site’s proximity to a local school.

The consultancy firm did not reply to queries concerning its dealing with ‘Don Weldon’ on Wednesday.

In response to the request to dismiss the appeal, the appeals board inspector in the case, Adrian Ormsby stated that “it is questionable why a person living in Navan would appeal the application”.

Mr Ormsby added: “However, the appellant has raised matters clearly related to the proper planning and sustainable development of the area and as such it is appropriate that the appeal is given its due consideration.”

The board granted planning permission after concluding that a pet crematorium is an acceptable use at the site and would not seriously injure the amenities of the area.

On Wednesday when contacted by phone at her place of work at Paw Prints Cremation, Dawn Weldon denied any role in the appeal against the Keller pet crematorium plan.

When told that the appeal came from her address in the same of Don Weldon, Ms Weldon denied any role in the appeal. She said: “No, 100 per cent not. Definitely not.”

Ms Weldon added, “I had nothing to do with an appeal. We knew the crematorium was going there. That was it. They got their planning, didn’t they?”

Aimee Keller said that she hopes that the family-run pet crematorium business will be up and running by September.

A self confessed animal lover, Ms Keller has operated a dog grooming business, Barkingham Palace in Ennis since 2007.

Ms Keller said that she saw the need for a pet crematorium for Clare with her clients having to go elsewhere in the country to have their pets cremated.

Ms Keller said that dog owners having to bring the remains of their pets long distances only increased the stress on them after the death of their pets.

Ms Keller said that there is no doubt that there is a market there for a pet crematorium for Clare.

Ms Keller said that she is delighted with the support that she has received from local vets with a number providing letters of support to Clare County Council for the venture.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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