A CONTROVERSIAL application to turn the former Witton Post Office building into a veterinary surgery have been thrown out by Wychavon District Council’s planning committee.
The proposal, for the site on the Worcester Road, was refused with an overwhelming 12 votes against, one for and one abstaining. In total 103 households were opposed to the application along with 315 petitioners.
Many highlighted the issue of the proposed bin area for the building’s clinical waste, next to the path in front of the building. Points were made about the detrimental effects on passing pedestrians, especially schoolchildren.
The ‘inappropriate’ structural work needed to fence off the bins was also brought up as some felt it would look out of place in a residential area.
Specific concerns were also voiced regarding the plans to block up one of the building’s exits so there would only be one way in and one way out, through the front door. Those opposed claimed this would mean any dead animals or other unpleasant waste needing to be disposed of would have to be taken through the reception before going out the front door.
Health and safety questions were also asked about what would happen in the event of a fire when the whole building, including recovering animals, would need to be evacuated.
Droitwich Town Council made points regarding the traffic and parking problems it would cause and the noise, smell, disturbance and hygiene issues it would bring.
Coun Tom Noyes said it was an unsuitable location and if the go-ahead was given it would be extremely detrimental to the surrounding businesses, especially the neighbouring salon which offered relaxing treatments like massages. He argued how barking dogs did not create a very peaceful environment.
He added how cramped it was inside and said the lack of space could have negative affects on the animals’ welfare.
He said, for instance, cats and dogs sharing the same area was likely to result in already sick and injured animals becoming distressed with each other.
At the end of the meeting, Coun Noyes said: “The result is totally justified, the premises was not big enough to do what the applicants wanted.
“The nice thing about it was that the whole community thought the same thing because they knew how impractical it would have been to have a vets in such a small, confined area.
“I think this is a wonderful result especially for the people who work in the area who have been working hard to make it a vibrant little community.”
Helen Philips, the owner of Beauty by Helen which is above the old post office, said: “I’m trilled with the decision because it would have been very detrimental to my business.
“It is also great news for the local community – they may now be able to get the post office back.”
The Standard reported last week how a campaign had been launched in a bid to bring back Witton Post Office, which closed its doors 18 months ago.