Locks Heath vets surgery gets green light to open on Sundays

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A VETERINARY surgery in Locks Heath is set to extend its opening hours, despite objections from local people.

Councillors at Fareham Borough Council gave the go-ahead for Heathside vets in Locks Road to extend their opening hours to Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings.

At the moment the surgery is only open for four hours on a Saturday, closing at midday.

But 30 residents in the area objected to the plans, writing letters and emails, and a 24 signature petition was also received by the council.

Many of the residents were concerned about the impact that the extended hours would have on parking and traffic in the area.

Others said they were concerned about noise disturbance and dog fouling.

Councillor for Locks Heath, Ruth Godrich said: ‘I have had a few complaints about that because people are concerned that if they have extended opening hours there’s going to be more traffic.

‘It’s stop and go on Locks Road because there are cars parked on either side.

‘If there are going to be more opening hours at the vets then there’s going to be more traffic around.

‘Local residents feel there is enough trouble with the parking already.

‘They have got parking at the vets and if people go by appointment there shouldn’t be a problem.

‘But it’s only a small car park.

‘They are worried because Locks Road is a long straight road and people do tend to put their foot down.’

The surgery is located in a predominantly residential area.

Locks Road also serves as a major bus route in Locks Heath.

However, Cllr Godrich admitted she could understand that there might be a need for the surgery to extend the weekend opening hours.

‘A lot of people are working during the week and they haven’t got time to take the cat or dog to the vets,’ she added

‘I can see why the residents up there aren’t so pleased because of the extra traffic but on the other hand perhaps it’s the only time people can take their animals to the vets.’

The surgery will now be open from 8am until 4pm on Saturdays and from 10am until 1pm on Sundays.

The opening hours during the week will remain the same.

Councillor Nick Walker, chairman of the planning committee, said: ‘There were no deputations.

‘Officers felt that parking wasn’t a problem because people come and go fairly quickly.

‘There appeared to be no complaints over the period they were open. So we granted permission.’