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Fears for vets if security fence is taken down
2:10pm Tuesday 5th March 2013 in News
A VET surgery will become a target for drug addicts if it is forced to rip down a new security fence, a worried councillor has claimed.
Upton town councillor Mary Lismore fears staff could end up being seriously injured if the Stocks Veterinary Centre, in School Lane, is forced to remove the five foot metal fence it installed following a spate of break-ins on consecutive nights.
The fence is the subject of an enforcement notice from Malvern Hills District Council, although owner Kevin Hammett is appealing.
Coun Lismore, who has been to inspect the fence, which sits on top of an existing wall at the vets, believes it is vital it remains in place.
She said expensive equipment and animal medication stored inside made it a prime target for thieves and is concerned about the safety of staff working there overnight.
“I can understand why lone workers, particularly female, would feel vulnerable,” she said. “If someone is high on any of the drugs that they keep there then they will not stop to take notice of anyone that gets in their way.
“They will attack anyone they come across, sick animals as well as human beings.”
Following Coun Lismore’s comments, members of Upton Town Council voted unanimously to support the Stocks in its fight against the enforcement notice, which has been issued by Malvern Hills District Council. A letter is being written to the enforcement inspector urging him to allow the fence to remain.
The district council slapped the enforcement notice on the vets last November, saying the fence – built on top of an existing wall – had resulted in an overall height of more than two metres and that no application was made for planning permission.
It also advised Mr Hammett “the council does not consider planning permission should be granted if requested”.
But Mr Hammett believes the fence is vital to protect his business and staff.
He feels he is caught “between the devil and the deep blue sea” as the fence was put up on the advice of local police and his insurance company after the spate of break-ins last February.
He does not believe the district council has been willing to listen to alternatives and is planning a complaint.