A BICESTER vets wants to expand due to a lack of social distancing space but neighbours are worried its plans will lead to bad parking on a residential road.

Hart Vets can no longer consult like it used to in its building on Browning Drive due to Covid-19 restrictions.

It therefore has submitted plans to Cherwell District Council to add a temporary building at the back of its car park to allow for more working space.

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The vets' application form says: “We would be able to carry on seeing as many patients as we did before and so the affect and stress on our team and our business would be much reduced.”

The temporary building - which would be a portable office -would be ‘relatively small’ and would not be visible from the road.

Vets at the facility have been using a gazebo in the car park in the meantime to consult in, but as the weather turns colder it will not be an appropriate space to work in.

Oxford Mail:

Hart Vets practice manager Kathryn Mathis said in a letter to the council: “Whilst it is great in the pleasant weather, with the temperatures getting colder by the day, it is getting to the point where we will no longer be able to work out there due to the cold.

“A vet’s work is precise and they need fingers which are not compromised by temperature.”

But some residents who live on the same road are against the plans because the portable office would take up space in the vets' car park which could result in more people parking on the road outside homes instead.

Resident Rachael Shaer, is objecting on behalf of her disabled parents too.

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She said: "If this plan goes ahead the portacabin will take up a large area of the already small car park at the vets which means local residents will have even more of a problem with parking issues from staff and customers outside our homes than we already do.

"I am distraught at the idea this is going to happen."

Another resident Jan Smith said in her objection letter: “This commercial business has already outgrown the footprint on this site without additional facilities being added.

Oxford Mail:

“We have been inconvenienced now for some time. The veterinary centre needs to move to a bigger site not add more infrastructure such as additional portacabin.

“This will only take up yet more parking places in the already inadequate car park.”

Double yellow lines will be painted on Browning Drive next to the vets despite residents’ concerns that it will cause staff and clients to park further down the road, potentially blocking driveways and causing visibility problems.

The new road markings were approved by Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, Yvonne Constance in July.

Oxfordshire County Council, as the Local Highways Authority, does not object to the application and says the temporary building 'is likely to displace 2 – 3 car parking spaces from the on-site car park'.

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It added: "In a temporary situation this is unlikely to have an adverse traffic or road safety impact on the surrounding road network."