New equine hospital gets go-ahead

PLANS for a new state of the art equine hospital have been given the go ahead.Greenwood, Ellis and Partners, one of the country's leading equine vets, which looks after almost half of the horses in Newmarket, has been granted planning permission to build a hospital for horses on the outskirts of town.

PLANS for a new state of the art equine hospital have been given the go ahead.

Greenwood, Ellis and Partners, one of the country's leading equine vets, which looks after almost half of the horses in Newmarket, has been granted planning permission to build a hospital for horses on the outskirts of town.

The new hospital will be situated close to the July racecourse and the National Stud and will see the practice move from its High Street premises, which it has occupied since the 1920s and now outgrown.

Practice partner David Ellis said: “This means an awful lot to the practice, we have been expanding so much we really are bursting at the seams and it has prevented us from certain technologies and working in ways we would have liked to, it's a tremendous step forward.”


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Greenwood, Ellis had previously tried to move to premises close to the Severals, but was refused planning permission after a volley of protest from local residents and leading trainer Luca Cumani, who feared the hospital would cause traffic problems, and potentially bring diseased or sick horses closer to the healthy horse population.

The planning application resulted in a public inquiry, which led to the vets focusing on the new site.

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The original plan was estimated to cost around £1 million, but the new scheme, which includes two operating theatres and four recovery rooms, four stable blocks and accommodation for duty vets, is expected to far exceed that.

The practice was the first ever equine veterinary partnership and has flourished over the last few decades.

In 1970 seven vets were employed by the practice compared to 23 in 2005, plus 34 further support staff, and its clients include most of the country's leading trainers, including John Gosden, Sir Michael Stoute, Henry Cecil, Michael Bell and Godolphin Racing, as well as providing specialist services to the racecourses and Tattersalls, and several major stud farms.

The plans had been recommended for refusal over concerns about road access, but following a site visit by members of East Cambridgeshire District Council's planning committee on Wednesday and further information from county highways, permission was granted.

It is believed the practice's current premises will be redeveloped as housing.

Mr Ellis said he hoped work would start on the new hospital later this year and be completed by the end of 2007.

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