Pub turned guest house to become a veterinary practice

King William IV

Planners agreed change of use of this guest house in March to a veterinary practice. The King William IV ceased to be a pub nearly a decade ago. - Credit: FDC Planning

Change of use of a Fenland guest house, offered for sale five years ago at £850,000 but more recently for £400,000, has been given permission to turn it into a veterinary practice.  

The King William IV in High Street, March, has won change of use from Fenland District Council to enable Triovet Veterinary Practice from Chatteris to open there.  

It will be the second time a former pub has become a veterinary practice - in 2016 the council agreed for the Hero of Aliwal – named after Sir Harry Smith and his role in the Battle of Aliwal in India- be similarly converted. 

Fenland Council planners noted that “Both local and national government recognise that the COVID pandemic has altered the demand for certain businesses”. 

They felt that “a pragmatic approach should be taken to help businesses and owners adapt financially”. 

The King William has been a guest house since 2014.  

Triviot told the council that expansion will mean the creation of eight new full time and two part time workers. 

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Hours of opening are 8am to 7pm Monday to Friday; 8am to 4pm on Saturdays; and 9am-1pm on Sundays. The practice says that only on occasions will it open outside of these hours to deal with an emergency. 

In their ruling, the council says: “It should be noted that the presence of other veterinary practices within the town and any economic impact the proposal may have on these businesses is not a material planning consideration.” 

The council also says that given that there are no external alterations proposed to the building beyond the proposed rendering of the single storey side extension, the building will retain its character. 

“It will therefore remain a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area and will not impact on the setting or significance of the listed buildings opposite,” says the council.  

The pub was built in the early part of the 20th century and is within the conservation area. 

The proposal includes kennels for animals to stay overnight if recovering from treatment/ an operation.  

“As such any noise generated is unlikely to be significant or be over and above a residential property with pets,” says the council.