A DEVELOPMENT application to extend a veterinary hospital on King George Ave has been denied on the basis it was never approved to operate as one in the first place.
A report to councillors recommends the DA be refused because the "veterinary hospital" was built without the required approvals and the building itself is subject to flooding and could present "a risk to property and life".
Councillors expressed opposing views on the extension request from Tamworth Equine Centre.
Councillor Phil Betts said he read the report thoroughly but couldn't see how the issues couldn't be worked around.
"I can't see why there can't be a way to work around this with an advanced flood warning system as is the case out there, so I will be voting against the motion," he said.
When councillor Helen Tickle first read the report she said she wanted to find a way to approve it but as she read on she agreed with the recommendation to refuse.
"It's well known in Tamworth this is a flood area and we have to be very careful about what we approve or don't approve," she said.
Twenty years ago Tamworth Regional Council approved an animal establishment, comprising of a livestock barn to provide housing and breeding services for livestock for the Tamworth Veterinary Hospital that was at Brisbane Street.
When the new DA was assessed it was found the operations inside the building have become a stand-alone "veterinary hospital" with full-time staff, an office area, amenities and specialist rooms.
Tamworth Equine Hospital director Cameron Collins said when he bought the premises he believed it was approved as a veterinary hospital.
He requested that TRC approve the development and that the office space itself is only used in business hours so should pose a limited risk even though it is located in a flood-prone area.
The site has changed owners twice since the original approval in 2000.
The current owners purchased the property in 2018.