A NEW veterinary surgery could be built in Didcot including a pet care, treatment and grooming facility.

Vets4Pets, a UK-wide veterinary company founded in 2000 by animal retail company Pets at Home, has applied to install a mezzanine floor to an existing store at Hadden Hill Retail Park to be used as a vet.

The existing store, Carpetright, is due to be vacating the unit which is accessed off Wallingford Road on the A4130 road from Wallingford through to Didcot.

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An application has been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council, the planning authority, for the existing floorspace to be used by Pets at Home and a brand-new floor to be installed for the veterinary surgery.

In supporting documentation, the applicant states that a new veterinary surgery will ‘contribute towards meeting the needs’ of residents in the town.

It states: “The proposed service use will contribute towards the overall offer of the commercial location and will contribute towards meeting the needs of the local populous.

“Given the unique characteristics of Pets at Home and the overall physical and functional relationship between the retail business and the Vets4Pets facility, we consider that the mezzanine floorspace and its use for retail or as a pet care, treatment and grooming facility will not have any material effect on the function of the unit or wider commercial area.”

There are currently four vets available in Didcot; two Larkmead Veterinary Groups in Greenwood Way and Park Road, Abivale Veterinary Group in Wallingford Road and Hadden Hill Veterinary Surgery in North Moreton.

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The planning application comes as a rise in animals have been abandoned across the UK due to the cost-of-living crisis.

According to figures from the RSCPA, this year alone there has been a 24 per cent rise in the number of animals being abandoned and the charity says many of its rescue centres are full.

Two puppies were found deceased and abandoned in a bin bag near Kestrel Wey by Great Wester Park estate in July this year.

The RSPCA fears that with the rise of pet ownership during the coronavirus pandemic along with the cost-of-living crisis it has put a strain on people’s finances meaning even more animals are being given up this year.

Some people in Didcot have struggled with the cost of vets across the town with some claiming the services ‘cost a fortune’.

In a post on Facebook, one pet owner commented: “Everywhere is expensive because they know you will pay anything for your beloved pets.

“We paid nearly a thousand pounds couple weeks for [our dogs treatment] – we couldn't believe how much we had to pay.”

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Vets4Pets states it provides ‘affordable’ care for pets which would benefit the local community. The planning authority is due to make a decision by November 30.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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