Falkirk Council: Vet given permission for animal care facility in Braes

A unique boarding service for animals who have had surgery can now be built in Slamannan after a vet was given the green light by councillors.
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Councillors supported the application from Brian Allan, who is one of the owners of Vets for Pets in Cumbernauld, where he specialises in small animal orthopaedic surgery.

They agreed to the construction of a veterinary care facility, dwelling house, parking and access, and change of use of land to form an exercise area at land to the north west of Nappiefaulds House.

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Mr Allan, who was born in Slamannan, said the new site would allow him to care for patients from his practice while they recovered from surgery. The rural location, he said, was vital so that animals could convalesce in seclusion and get “quiet, uninterrupted care” with plenty of space for exercise.

Looking towards the site in Slamannan that will be used for the animal care facility. Pic: ContributedLooking towards the site in Slamannan that will be used for the animal care facility. Pic: Contributed
Looking towards the site in Slamannan that will be used for the animal care facility. Pic: Contributed

He told members of Falkirk Council’s planning committee tyesterday (Wednesday): “This is unique – there’s no boarding kennels in the area have vets working at them and no veterinary hospitals have physiotherapy facilities which include boarding.”

The new facility will have two convalescent units designed for dogs, two for cats and a treatment room. A veterinary nurse will provide care during the day while Mr Allan is at his Cumbernauld practice and he will provide any care necessary overnight.

Nature Scot had originally objected to the plans as the land is close to a vital site for flocks of bean geese, which spend winters on the Slamannan Plateau. However, the watchdog agreed in advance of the meeting that screening the exercise area would be sufficient to stop the birds being disturbed.

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There were safety concerns raised by the council’s roads department, as the proposed entrance would be close to a blind bend. But councillors agreed that a solution could be found, either by moving the entrance or cutting back hedgerows.

Planning officers also suggested refusing the application as the ground is classed as quality farmland. Speaking on behalf of his constituent, Councillor Jim Robertson said that Slamannan’s heritage as a mining and industrial area could not be ignored and the site is actually brownfield land.

Councillor James Kerr proposed approving the site saying that Mr Allan’s explanation of the business had convinced him it was a unique animal welfare facility that would benefit the Braes area.

Members said they were content that road safety requirements would be addressed by the applicant. Cllr Kerr added: “I understand road safety is important but this is not the M25.”

Provost Bissett agreed that all of the issues raised could be addressed and it would be “a great regenerative project”, which was supported by the committee.