VENERATED: Morpeth Post Office, built in 1880.THE historic Morpeth Post Office will be used as a veterinary hospital if Maitland councillors vote in favour of the proposal at a council meeting next week.
A development application has been submitted that proposes to make small alterations to the inside of the existing building and erect signage outside it.
Williams River Veterinary would occupy the building and have one vet and two staff members at the clinic.
The zoning does not allow a veterinary business to operate, but council can approve the proposal if the owners meet specific criteria.
The building is listed as a heritage item under the Local Environment Plan and is within the Morpeth Heritage Conservation Area.
The ground floor would be used for consultations, surgery and animal hospitalisation, while upstairs would be used for storage, and the former mail room would be used to store animal drugs.
Two residents objected to the proposal with concerns about noise, traffic, parking and disabled access.
Tony and Lisa Amity said their bedroom was about 40metres away from the room where animals would be kept overnight.
They were concerned ‘‘barking or distressed animals’’ could disrupt their sleep during the night and affect their health and wellbeing.
Council officers concluded in their report that the issues were not significant enough to refuse the application, and have recommended that it be approved.
The business would operate between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturday, and five car spaces would be included at the rear.
The post office was built in 1880 and was operational from 1881 to 2010.