Plans to convert Chinese restaurant into veterinary practice

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A Chinese restaurant could be converted into a veterinary service if plans are given the go-ahead.

Proposals have been submitted to Hartlepool Council to convert The Wok Inn in West View Road into a veterinary clinic.

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

They are also seeking 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 would be created if proposals went ahead.

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.”

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

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

Up to  twelve and eighteen consultations may take place per hour if plans go-ahead, the applicant estimates.

They also stated noise pollution would not be an issue from animals, as the only animals kept overnight are those who are severely ill and 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 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 restaurant can seat 110 covers plus a further 20 in the bar area.

This 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.

A decision will be made on the plans by the council planning committee in the coming months.

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service