Magna Housing has sold an unused office building in Williton, west Somerset to long-established local business White Lodge Veterinary Clinic.

St Peter’s House was used as offices by the housing association until the Covid-19 pandemic but has been unoccupied since March 2020. Magna decided the building was surplus to its requirements and was keen to find a buyer that would provide value to the local community.

White Lodge Veterinary Clinic was established in west Somerset in the 1950s, moving to its purpose-built clinic at Stephenson Road in Minehead in 1994. It has since grown the practice to include a purpose-built equine and farm animal clinic in Minehead, serving west Somerset and parts of north Devon, and a clinic in Williton, established in 2010. The business currently employs more than 30 people.

The move offers them the added benefit of freeing up two council-owned units for start-up businesses to rent.

Carolyn Bill, Magna’s head of asset investment, said:

“As the main housing provider in Williton, we’re committed to supporting the communities we serve. This opportunity will offer local people with more access to services and create jobs. The income from the sale will be invested back into our services and homes.”

White Lodge directors Tom Gliddon and Paul Gannon both grew up in Williton and share a strong desire to contribute to the town by ensuring the infrastructure is in place to serve the growing local community.

Director Tom Gliddon said:

“Due to increased demand and looking to the future with extra housing planned for Williton and Watchet in particular, we required a larger building. The current practice in Williton serves pet-owners as far afield as Nether Stowey and Bishops Lydeard, as well as offering a convenient pick-up location for medicines for horse-owners and farmers.

“St Peter’s House offers us the room we need now and for the foreseeable future. It will create extra, high-quality jobs in Williton as well as helping to reduce environmental impacts of journeys, as currently we have to offer appointments in Minehead to people who could be seen in Williton if we had the space.”