Vets expanding to garage site amid surge in new animal owners

Caister Vets in Caister, Great Yarmouth, is looking to expand to a bigger site in Rollesby.

The team at Caister Vets is looking to expand to the Becks Garage site in Rollesby so they can treat more animals. - Credit: Google Maps/Caister Vets

A village vets is expanding to a new, larger site after the pandemic created a surge in pet ownership.

Caister vets opened in 2017 as a single vet practice but now has eight with a total staff of 30, and has outgrown its home in Ormesby Road.

Caister Vets in Caister, Great Yarmouth, is looking to expand to Rollesby.

Paw doggy! A canine patient gets a helping hand from a member of staff at Caister Vets. The practice has a waiting list and is hoping it can treat more animals when it expands to new premises at Rollesby. Caister will remain open, its manager has said. - Credit: Caister Vets

The practice, part of the Westover independent group, is now looking to open a sister site at the former Beck motorhomes building in Martham Road, Rollesby.

The bid is in the hands of planners but if approved will see a much bigger premises with seven consulting rooms, two surgical theatres and separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs as well as their own wards.

Caister Vets in Caister, Great Yarmouth, is looking to expand to a new site in Rollesby

A puppy enjoys a hug at Caister vets which has a waiting list of clients after a surge in pet ownership during the pandemic. - Credit: Caister Vets

Practice manager Laura Simm, said a lack of parking stopped  them expanding where they were.

She said the business had boomed, especially since the pandemic when so many people who did not have a pet before, decided to get one.

Under the changes Caister will stay open, but mainly for routine issues like vaccinations.

Caister vets in Caister near Great Yarmouth is looking to expand

The team at Caister vets is set to grow after it opens a new base in Rollesby at the former Becks garage site in Martham Road. - Credit: Caister vets

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The new centre aims to open in spring next year bringing new jobs for a range of roles including veterinary nurses and receptionists.

Miss Simm said: "Caister has been a real success story.

"Before we came here there was nothing really north of the river. 

Caister vets in Caister, Great Yarmouth, is looking to expand to Rollesby

One of the patients at Caister Vets which hopes to be able to treat more animals when its new base opens in Rollesby. - Credit: Caister Vets

"The feedback has been amazing which is why we have grown so quickly. We were much needed."

She said they had been looking for the right site since early 2020 with parking being among the key considerations, as well as being close to Caister - Rollesby being just seven minutes away.

The practice has a waiting list and hopes the new premises will help its staff to treat more animals.

Caister vets set to expand to Rollesby after lockdown surge in pet owners

The Becks garage site in Rollesby could be home to a new veterinary centre as Caister Vets looks to expand to cope with numbers and serve people in the northern parishes. - Credit: Google maps

Meanwhile the two-pronged impact of Covid and Brexit had hit the veterinary profession hard, and lead to many leaving to pursue other careers, she added.

The proposed new centre also has parking for 47 cars.

No animals will be kept overnight, all those needing to stay on the wards being transferred to North Walsham.

Opening hours are given in the plans as 8am to 6.30pm weekdays and 8.30am to midday on Saturday.

To view the plans visit the borough council's website quoting reference 06/22/0272/F.