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Vinters Park Crematorium in Maidstone will now provide service for pets

By Angela Cole

Owners will be able to have their beloved pets cremated and laid to rest in a remembrance garden under plans approved by Maidstone council.

The decision will see a pet cremation service set up on the Vinters Park Crematorium site in Maidstone.

It will be separate to the current crematorium, with a dedicated building and entrance on New Cutt Road.

Pet owners will soon have an area for cremations at Vinters Park
Pet owners will soon have an area for cremations at Vinters Park

The move has come as part of the authority’s proposals to raise extra funds from its cremation services.

The KM Group reported in June last year that the council had set itself a target of about 1,500 cremations in the next year, after carrying out 1,485 in 2012/13.

The plans have been kept under wraps until now, and were discussed in private due to sensitive financial matters.

The authority will not, at this stage, divulge how much customers will pay for the service or the number of cremations it intends to conduct.

Director of environment and shared services, David Edwards, wrote in a report on the proposal to create a pet crematorium service: “The service would be based at Vinters Park and it would be housed in a separate location with a separate building and separate access.

Members were asked to consider this as primarily a local service to residents and businesses.”

The pet cremation area will be separate from the building for humans
The pet cremation area will be separate from the building for humans

The cost of setting it up would be £670,000 including the cost of urns and memorials for pet lovers, as well as trees and plants for a remembrance garden.

An exact timescale has not been set out but informal consultations have already been carried out with funeral directors.

A Maidstone Borough Council spokesman said: “A lot of research has been carried out to see whether a pet cremation service can be provided, and the project is now subject to budget approval and planning consent.

“Our existing crematorium service is highly respected, and we understand its sensitive nature, so the new service would be provided in separate building some distance away from the main chapel.”

Currently the closest one is Sandhole Pet Crematorium in Malling Road, Snodland, which provides the services for pets including dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, birds and reptiles.

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