An application by Plunketts veterinary service in Ramsgate to move from the High Street to a unit at Princes Road has been approved after councillors of the planning committee rejected officer’s advice.
Plunkett’s applied for change of use at the industrial unit to give the service the opportunity to expand. A move to the unit would provide parking and up to 14 jobs. The site would mean veterinary services being retained in Ramsgate.
Planning officers had recommended refusal of the plan because: “The proposed use as a veterinary surgery does not fall within the permitted use classes for the Princes Road Industrial Estate”
They added: “Whilst the proposed development is considered to bring some benefits to the area, the existing and draft local plan have identified a continued need for the retention of sites falling within these (industrial) use classes. The proposed development is therefore contrary to saved policy EC12 of the Thanet Local Plan and the principle of development on the site is considered unacceptable. It is therefore recommended that members refuse this application.”
But councillors unanimously rejected that advice at a meeting last night (December 18).
‘Accessible to all’
Plunketts say “One of the primary reasons for pursuing the relocation of the existing veterinary surgery is to ensure that the facility is accessible to all members of the community. The current premises have a stepped approach and the accommodation is distributed over 4 floors.
“The proposed design includes an accessible ramped approach with dedicated accessible parking and all of the accommodation (for clients and staff) across a single ground floor.
“We believe that retaining a veterinary surgery with modern clinical facilities, in the centre of Ramsgate (rather than in business parks on the perimeter of the town) is supported by the need for short journeys with a range of transport options in close proximity to the established community.”
There are 6 existing veterinary surgeries in Thanet, distributed evenly in Margate, Broadstairs, Westwood, Ramsgate and Minster.
Plunketts Veterinary Surgery is currently the only practice serving Ramsgate town centre.