A PROMINENT site in Kirkbymoorside is to be turned into a new veterinary clinic under new plans.

The land, just south of the roundabout on the A170, was destined to be a Tesco following a planning application in 2011.

Now it has been purchased by the Grace Lane Vets group, currently based in a building to the north of the town. The company intends to build a new, state-of-the-art clinic on the 1.6 acre site.

“We’ve been successful where we are but we’ve outgrown the building,” said Grace Lane Vets partner John Whitwell. “We need bigger premises.”

He said they bought the plot last Friday. “I think we’ve got the best site between Thirsk and Scarborough,” he added.

In its current clinic, the practice does both small animal work and large animal work, including horses and other farm animals.

But, despite an extension about five years ago giving it two consultation rooms and an operating theatre, it is still too small for the practice’s growing needs. He said: “The extension bought us some time. But things move on in medicine and people expect us to do more on-site instead of being referred.”

The practice has grown from a single vet when it was founded 10 years ago to a staff of nearly 10, with vets, nurses and an office manager.

He added they are already working on plans for the new site, which may include a new convenience store as well. “It’s been derelict for about seven years, and it’s a bit of a blot on the town,” said John.

“We want to reassure people that we as a practice work in the community - we are aware it’s a prominent site and we really want to make a good job of it, and to make it look right.

“We’ve been discussing it with a developer who would do the whole site including our clinic.”

He said they have been talking to people who have built clinics in Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley to find out what works, and that they are looking at a timescale of about two years.

“We would envisage a year getting everything right then nine months on the build,” he added.