AN INITIAL bid to get permission for a new vet clinic in Dalgety Bay has hit a stumbling block.

Applicant Alex Lord, who lives in the town, had sought a certificate of lawfulness from Fife Council to allow empty premises at 10 Bay Centre, Regent's Way, to be used to treat small animals.

However, the council have refused and said that, as the proposal involves a change of use from class 1 (shops) to class 2 (financial, professional and other services), a full planning application will be required.

Mr Lord hopes to convert the unit, last used as a kilt shop around two years ago, into a small animal vet clinic.

He said it would comprise a waiting area, consulting rooms, pharmacy, a canine and feline ward, surgical theatre and an imaging room for radiography and ultrasonography.

The property is one of 12 single-storey commercial units in the parade of shops and services next to the Tesco store in Dalgety Bay.

A council report explained that the application sought to establish whether a proposed class 2 use "could lawfully operate from the existing vacant class 1 unit" without requiring full planning permission".

It said the change of use "does not constitute permitted development and full planning permission will therefore be required".