A NEW dental practice could soon open in Bridgwater – at the same time as an old dental practice could be converted into several apartments, writes Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter.
Holloway House Dental Surgery in Minehead has requested the opening of a new dental practice in Bridgwater by converting the existing house at 62 Wembdon Road, opposite Quantock Public House.
This comes as JT Retail Properties Ltd. asked to convert the former Brent House Surgery on King Street (which is in the city’s conservation area) into five apartments.
Sedgemoor District Council is expected to make a decision on both sets of plans later in the spring.
The new practice, which will replace the existing five-bedroom house, could create up to five new jobs – although it is unclear how many of these will be filled by existing staff.
A spokesperson for Architectural Studio said: ‘Claimant currently has successful dental surgery in Minehead which attracts patients from across Somerset.
“Many of the existing patients come from the Bridgwater area and have to travel to Minehead for regular checkups and treatment.
“The aim of this application is to provide more surgical treatment rooms to meet growing business demand and to reduce the number of trips for patients based in Bridgwater.
“No changes would be made to the exterior appearance of the building and only minor changes would be made to the interior. The site has enough parking spaces for patients and staff.
If approved, the surgery will end up providing both NHS and private treatment for a major catchment area in West Bridgwater – including over 1,000 new homes to be built either side of the A39 Quantock Road .
Bridgwater currently has a dental access center for patients who cannot access NHS treatment through regular practice – one of only three such facilities operating full-time in the county ( the others being in Taunton and Yeovil, with a part-time establishment in Fromé).
However, the town has been hit hard by the growing shortage of NHS dentists across Somerset, making it harder for people to get routine appointments.
Health bosses admitted in January that persuading dentists to work in the county was “like trying to convince a turkey to vote for Christmas”, blaming a range of factors from growing private sector opportunities to dental contract reforms introduced by the then Labor Government in 2006.
Further downtown, JT Retail Properties Ltd. requested the creation of further apartments in the former Brent House Surgery, which is listed second.
Permission was granted to Cranleigh Gardens Medical Center in May 2018 to convert the building into four apartments; however, the developer now wishes to subdivide one of the upper floor properties into two to create additional accommodation.
A spokesman for Lyndon Brett Chartered Surveyors (representing the claimant) said: ‘The existing building will remain essentially as is, with no form of demolition or extension work being undertaken.
“It will therefore adopt the same built line as the existing one and will therefore not be dominant in terms of overhang and/or eclipse compared to what currently exists.”
The board is expected to make a decision on both sets of proposals before the summer.