Vet appeals in bid to launch borough's only animal hospital (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Principal Vet refused planning permission to improve his business
A vet has appealedagainst a decision to block his bid to open Waltham Forest’s only veterinary hospital.
Stephen Posnett, 58, of the VetCall surgery in Station Road, Chingford, still hopes to build a single-storey front extension to his premises, despite the council’s planning committee in September ruling it would intrude too far onto the street and had no adequate space for wheelchairs.
Mr Posnett said he wants to create the hospital to help deal with the burden of increasing business rates, which led him to close his pets accessories shop, Mammal, in Station Road, earlier this year.
“I have been trading in Station Road for 20 years and have observed the ever-changing face of this high street,” he said.
“I will do whatever is asked to rectify any problems raised as part of the application's refusal.
“I am currently willing to retain my five staff from Mammal, but if I am unable to obtain planning permission via an appeal, I will be forced to lay-off these valuable and dedicated staff.”
If Mr Posnett is successful with his appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, he plans to upgrade his practice and register it as a hospital with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
The closest veterinary hospital is in Wanstead.
Iain Duncan Smith MP visited Mr Posnett at his Chingford surgery last week after hearing about his problem.
After the meeting, he said: “This seems like a very sensible idea to me and I have written to the Planning Dept at LBWF to ask them to look favourably on Mr Posnett’s application.
“The council needs to be doing all it can at the moment to help businesses on Station Road, rather than make their lives more difficult.
“We have already lost JJ Electrical from Station Road and I would hate to see any more businesses being lost.”
No date has been set for the appeal hearing.
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