Plans approved to turn Chinese restaurant in Hartlepool into vets clinic

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Proposals to turn a Chinese restaurant into a veterinary service have been given the green light by planning bosses

Earlier this year plans were submitted to Hartlepool Borough Council to convert The Wok Inn in West View Road into a veterinary clinic.

The application from CVS UK Ltd, which has 460 veterinary services in the UK and Netherlands, looks to provide a surgery offering outpatient consultations with day-surgery to animals.

The council planning department has now granted permission for the work to take place, deeming it ‘acceptable’ in line with local policies.

The plans include permission for 24-hour opening so emergency consultations can be made during the night, although these would not be routine.

In total nine full-time and two part-time jobs are expected be created by the conversion.

A planning statement from agent Jefferson Sheard Architects, on behalf of CVS, said: “The proposal seeks to promote the sustainability of a local centre rather than detract from it or place further pressures on town centres.

“We believe that the proposed change of use will have a positive impact on its locality, with regards to the creation of skilled employment and a worthwhile service to local residents.”

A total of 46 notification letters were submitted to neighbouring properties  prior to plans being approved and no objections were received.

The proposed development aims to retain the building as it currently is, but removes all references to its previous use of a Chinese restaurant.

Four consultation rooms are to be provided, offering appointments of various length.

Up to twelve and eighteen consultations may take place per hour at the site, the applicant estimates.

They also stated noise pollution would not be an issue, as the only animals kept overnight would be those severely ill and in emergency cases.

CVS said the busiest time for a typical veterinary surgery is between the hours of 8am and 10am when patients are being admitted and 4pm and 6pm when patients are being discharged.

The time between would be for routine appointments where surgery is not required or for emergency cases to be diagnosed and referred elsewhere if needed.

It is envisaged pressures on the surrounding road network will be reduced or at peak times be no worse than existing.

At full capacity the Chinese restaurant could seat 110 covers plus a further 20 in the bar area, which is ‘significantly higher’ than anticipated number of people when all consultation rooms are working at capacity.

The existing 25 space car park would also be retained at the site.