Newcastle council has rejected a pet crematorium at Warabrook, siding with more than 130 neighbours opposed to the plan.
Councillors, sitting as the city's development applications committee, approved a brewpub in Merewether on Tuesday night but knocked back the pet crematorium because it was incompatible with the surrounding residential area.
Representatives on both sides of the political divide argued that the council could not ignore the wishes of the community, even if the crematorium was permissible under the site's light industry zoning and was supported in a report by council staff.
Residents had complained that the proposed business, which would cremate up to 40 cats and dogs a day in ovens burning at up to 1000 degrees, would give off harmful emissions.
Labor councillor Carol Duncan said the development was inconsistent with the aims of the site's zoning because it could adversely affect air quality and residents.
"I'd like residents to feel that this council has, indeed, heard them and supported them," she said.
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Deputy lord mayor Declan Clausen said the application was "unusual" and had not been envisioned in the city's planning regulations.
He hoped the council's reasons for refusing the plans would be defensible in the event of a Land and Environment Court challenge by the developer, Queensland firm Pet Angel Funerals.
Cr Andrea Rufo (Ind) said Australasian Cemeteries & Crematoria Association guidelines suggested emissions stacks should be at least 200 metres from houses "yet this DA has a distance of not even 30 metres".
Fellow Independent Kath Elliott said residents were upset at the prospect of "living in a neighbourhood where dogs and cats, loved animals, are being burnt".
"It's very emotional for people," she said.
Councillors approved a Modus Operandi brewery and "artisan food and drink premises" opposite Lingard Hospital at Merewether after being satisfied the proponent had addressed neighbours' concerns about noise, anti-social behaviour and parking.
The Merewether-based owners of Modus Operandi, Grant and Jaz Wearin, run a similar venue in the northern Sydney suburb of Mona Vale.
The Merewether brewery would offer public tastings, tours, workshops and special events in addition to its standard food and drink fare.
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