A doctors’ surgery has been given the go-head to move to a bigger and more accessible premises after its plans to relocate were approved.
Uppingham Surgery could move to the outskirts of the town by the end of the year after its planning application for change of use at the site in Uppingham Gate, Ayston Road, was given the green light by Rutland County Council.
The move is subject to contract negotiations with the NFU which owns and currently occupies the site.
More than 10,000 patients are registered at the practice in London Road but numbers are continuing to grow.
Manager Rob Lynch said the move is necessary for the surgery to meet its demands.
The existing surgery has no car parking spaces for patients, limited disabled access and few consulting rooms.
The new premises will include more rooms, a lift to its first floor and 44-space car park.
The plans also include a pharmacy with separate access for patients.
Mr Lynch said: “This is a big step forward in our plans to move.
“The main benefit is that it will bring 21st century standards of treatment for our patients, with more consulting rooms with improved access to them all.
“In our current premises we have no scope to extend and it’s not big enough to meet our needs.
“Patients are having to travel to Leicester and other towns if they can’t get the treatment they need here and we really don’t want that. We don’t just want to provide secondary care.
“The move is not done and dusted yet as contract negotiations are still being held but if all goes through we could be there after September.”
The NFU currently has eight members of staff working in the ground floor of the building, who will move to an office space on the first floor when the surgery opens.
Regional director for the union Richard Hezlet said three quarters of the building has been empty since call centre staff moved to Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, and that it is too big for its needs and expensive to run.
He said: “We are delighted the plans have been approved. It’s very good news.
“The building is ideal for the surgery’s needs and it really is a good deal for everyone for it to open here.”
The surgery held a consultation on the plans to open at the site with patients last year. Of the 650 who responded, most were in favour of the move.
Tthere were concerns parents and older patients who walk to the practice.
Mr Lynch said he did not yet know how much the move would cost as negotiations were on-going.
To see the application in full visit planningonline.rutland.gov.uk