Blackpool GP surgery 'could close' after plans rejected

A GP surgery in Blackpool has lost its bid to build new consulting rooms to cater for it growing number of patients.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 3:45 pm

Blackpool Council’s planning committee unanimously rejected an application from the Arnold Medical Centre on St Annes Road in South Shore despite being told it needed to expand to meet demand for health care from the community.

The surgery had sought permission to build a single storey rear extension in order to create four new consulting rooms for use by practioners including physiotherapists, podiatrists and pharmacists as well as doctors.

But council planning officers, who had recommended refusal, said the property which began life as a doctor’s house, had been extended six times already and there was no longer any room on the site for further expansion.

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Arnold Medical Centre

Architect Richard Maudsley, representing the surgery, told the committee patient numbers had increased from 4,300 to 5,200 over the last eight years, with up to 50 new patients a month currently registering.

This was due to the practice’s “excellent performance and ratings”.

He said: “If this application is not approved there is a real chance the practice will have to stop taking on new patients or at worst case close.”

He said the practice also needed extra space to accommodate trainee GPs.

Mr Maudsley added: “Accommodating more trainee GPs would bring more GPs into the region which would be very beneficial to the patients in Blackpool.”

However in their report, planners said “the site is small and the practice has already been expanded significantly beyond the footprint of the original building.

“The proposal would therefore result in a detrimental impact on residential

amenity.

“The need to develop the practice to benefit the community is acknowledged but it is not considered that the current application site is sustainable as a location for the type of development proposed and the growth desired.”

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