The scheme comprised a manager's house, a staff flat and additional hospital accommodation. The appellants explained that the hospital, which opened in 2001, was developing into a centre of excellence capable of treating critical cases referred by vets and providing 24-hour cover. They added that an MRI scanner would be installed in the building and would never be switched off.
They pointed out that this apparatus would need careful monitoring and would often be used out of hours and at night. The manager would control the equipment, which could lead to accidents if incorrectly used by inexperienced staff, exercise overall control of the facility and provide support to nurses and vets.
The inspector decided that a functional need for the accommodation had been proven. He recognised that the existing hospital had been designed to give the impression of a converted agricultural building and agreed that the proposed buildings had been designed with the same care and attention to detail. They would appear as an informal farm complex and their visual impact would be acceptable, he held.
DCS Number 100-050-877
Inspector Richard Merelie; Hearing.