Conversion of bungalow into St Albans medical practice is rejected
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A bid to turn a bungalow into a private medical practice has been turned down by a planning committee for the second time.
The application from dentist Anil Patel to convert the bungalow next door to his Bricket Wood dental practice in Oakwood Road was first refused in June.
It went back to a planning committee this month to enable additional information to be taken into account including a revised parking layout and a petition signed by 165 people in support of the scheme.
But St Albans councillors were not swayed and refused the application for a second time because of the loss of residential accommodation and the shortfall in parking spaces which would cause problems in the local area.
Residents were concerned that converting the bungalow would make it even larger than the adjoining dental practice which suffers from a shortage of parking spaces.
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They feared it would exacerbate problems they had been experiencing for some time such as blocked driveways, cars mounted on pavements and obscured sightlines.
Rosemary Love, on behalf of the Bricket Wood Safer Roads Residents Group, said: “Many shop owners at the nearby parade, who already receive complaints from customers about the lack of parking spaces, were also against the proposed ‘medical centre’ due to inadequate parking provision.”
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She said as one of two roads through Bricket Wood which connected onto the M25 and M1, Oakwood Road was a well-known rat run used regularly by HGVs.
It became one way in parts because of the amount of on-street parking, and drivers exiting from side roads found it difficult to see oncoming traffic.
In a letter to residents Mr Patel admitted that car parking had been a major issue to neighbours of the dental practice and after seeking advice, he had concluded that a similar number of parking places should be provided outside the medical centre.
District councillor for St Stephen ward, Brian Gibbard, told the meeting of the plans committee south that the proposal was ‘the wrong development in the wrong place’.
St Stephen parish council also recommended that the application should be refused, saying there was no need for a private healthcare clinic in a residential area and it would not be supported by NHS.
In its comments to the committee, the parish council said that the application was ‘very unpopular’ with residents.
Rosemary thanked Cllr Gibbard and Cllr John Bell of the parish council for speaking on behalf of residents opposed to the scheme.