PLANS have been approved to turn a piece of open land into a pet cemetery.

The application by Bishop's Waltham Parish Council will now see the ashes of small animals such as dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs buried on the land near the cemetery on Hoe Road.

The scheme received ten letters of objection prior to the meeting, although no-one spoke out against the scheme when it appeared before Winchester City Council's planning committee on Thursday.

Concerns ranged from fears a precedent would be set as there are currently no other pet cemeteries in the parish, to fears it would create upset being near to the human cemetery.

Sophie Buckland, of New Road, Swanmore, said: "I strongly object as I have several members of family laid to rest in cemetery. I don't think animals should be laid in the same place."

Georgina Kempster, of Windmill Lane, Bursledon, added: "I think it's morally wrong that you should consider having pets laid to rest at a long-standing cemetery for humans. If this type of thing is needed in the area, another site should be found."

The scheme was unanimously approved by the committee.