Plans to build a florists at South Tyneside’s crematorium are heaven scent, council chiefs say.
They want to construct a timber lodge shop in its grounds so mourners can buy last-minute bouquets.
The proposed 22m-sq detached outlet will stand in what is currently open ground close to the car park.
Clearly visible to people driving into the John Reid Road site in South Shields, it will be leased to a floristry business.
South Tyneside Council claims the shop will not sound the death knell for other florists operating in the borough.
Instead it says the out-of-town position means it is only aimed at relatives and friends of the dead, either attending funerals or visiting a loved one’s memorial.
However, it could be open seven days a week, including weekends when cremations are not held.
A council spokesman: “The application proposes a new facility at the crematorium site on land near the memorial garden that is currently unused.
“It would provide a high quality and convenient florist’s service for bereaved families, as is offered at other crematoriums in the region.
“We have engaged with local florists and would look to offer the opportunity to run the facility to a local supplier should the application be successful.
“The application will be determined on its merits in accordance with local and national planning policy.”
The council describes the development as a ‘garden room’ and says its front will face trees on the east side of a path between the car park and memorial garden.
Planners insist the rear of the lodge, which will have one full-time and two part-time staff members, will be sympathetically positioned to not disturb funerals.
Planned for an area of un-landscaped open space, hedges and shrubbery, it will face the crematorium building.
Conifers which line the east side of the path from the car park to the memorial garden, and a small wall, will be removed.
Should planning permission be granted by the council, the surrounding area will be landscaped and shrubbery replanted.
The council says it is operating within the requirements of its strategic vision for South Shields town centre, which aims to strengthen, revive and promote its growth.
And it has also studied the South Tyneside Local Development Framework – Core Strategy, which outlines the need to focus development in South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn town centres.
However under plans officially lodged, it insists the shop will not detract business from any centre but instead provide a convenient concession to the community.
The public can comment on the proposal until Thursday, May 23.