Business’ plan to transform closed NatWest bank criticised

Natwest Bank, Yatton.

Natwest Bank, Yatton. - Credit: Archant

Dozens of people have objected to plans for a new veterinary practice opening in Yatton, because there is one across the road already.

The former NatWest bank in Pages Court is subject to a planning application for the use of the building to be changed so Southwest Vet Care can use the site.

It also wants to make alterations to the front of the High Street building too.

However, the idea has led to more than 50 letters of objection being sent to North Somerset Council. Many of the objectors feel it would be unhelpful to the village with a similar business operating about 100 yards away.

Watkins and Tasker, which has been based in High Street for more than 30 years, says plans to convert the former bank in the precinct are not viable.

Although the practice says it is not against the idea of competition, it feels a village the size of Yatton would not be able to sustain two veterinary practices.

In a letter of objection submitted to the council’s planning website, Watkins and Tasker said: “As a long-established veterinary surgery we have both an excellent local reputation and a realistic grasp on the long-term sustainability of the proposed development.

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“We are not, it must be stressed, in opposition to valid competition. We have branches in other North Somerset towns of greater size and happily co-exist with our respected competitors.

“The village of Yatton is considerably smaller than these towns – therefore, we do question the ongoing viability of two veterinary practices.

“The application fails to acknowledge the existing availability of veterinary services in the local centre and provides no evidence that the proposal will positively support footfall in the precinct area.”

Watkins and Tasker also claimed demand for shops in Yatton’s village centre would grow as almost 700 homes are built in the area during the next decade.

* Visit to view the proposal.