Vet surgery above GP practice gets given green light

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PERMISSION has been granted for a new vets to go above a GP surgery, despite concerns from councillors about them being neighbours.

Fareham Borough Council’s planning committee looked at the proposals for Whiteley Surgery in Yew Tree Drive, Whiteley, during its meeting last month, but deferred its decision, asking the developer to look at possible changes

The councillors wanted the applicant to see if they could create separate entrances for the two surgeries, and also if the amount of parking could be increased.

However, the applicant, Whiteley Village Vet Centre, came back to the table without making changes to either,

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was consulted on the proposals and it said that it had no concerns about the two practices operating from the same site.

And of the 23 parking spaces, seven are allocated to the first-floor business as part of the existing lease arrangement.

The council officer’s report said: ‘The applicant maintains that vets operate with the same level of hygiene and disease control as that found in any human surgery or hospital.’

It added: ‘The GP surgery management is understood to be happy with the proposed shared access arrangements.’

Cllr Roger Price said: ‘I just don’t see the two situations working together in the sense that you will have people who are afraid of animals.

‘I don’t see why you should put people in that situation, or even putting animals in that stressful position.’

And Cllr Arthur Mandry added: ‘I don’t like the mixed use of a single access. With going to the vets you get dogs that get fearful, and other dogs who want to meet and greet everyone that they see, and that can be scary for some people.’

Cllr Michael Ford said: ‘There seems to be a clash in our concerns and those of the CQC. Their concern is about the hygiene and disease, ours is about the physical danger of mixing children and dogs.’

Cllr Trevor Cartwright said: ‘To my mind, it’s a management problem. Avoiding a toddler getting savaged by a dog in the entrance is not really our problem in terms of planning. I don’t agree with the shared entrance, but I don’t think we can refuse it on those grounds.’

The plans for a change of use from GP/dentist to veterinary centre were approved by six votes to three.