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Empingham Medical Centre could be denied permission to build consulting rooms on its car park when the plans are discussed by Rutland County Council next week

A GP surgery could be denied the opportunity to expand into its car park in order to provide more consulting rooms.

Empingham Medical Centre is seeking planning permission to install a pre-fabricated building to meet an increase in demand.

Its patient list rose from 6,251 in January 2017 to 6,920 in August 2019.

Empingham Medical Centre. Photo: Google
Empingham Medical Centre. Photo: Google

The surgery also gained new patients in the autumn when the proposed closure of St Mary’s Medical Centre in Stamford was announced.

In November, Rutland County Council set aside money to fund the project, but its highways officers are now pushing for the scheme to be rejected.

They say the loss of parking spaces will create road safety problems in the village.

In a report to councillors, the highways department stated: “The proposed development will result in additional on street parking, possibly in dangerous location, and result in more vehicles coming to Empingham to use the services.”

In order to make space for the proposed extension, the surgery would have to remove its existing 11 car parking spaces.

Under the current plans, only four disabled spaces would be reinstated within the site, which is accessed from Willoughby Drive. This would force staff and patients to park on the surrounding roads.

Despite the road safety concern and objections from some residents about the impact on the conservation area, Empingham Parish Council is backing the plans.

It said: “The proposed use of a prefabricated modular building to consulting room standards is a sensible solution to meet an urgent need.

“The parish council supports the application and early implementation of the proposal to extend the physical facilities at the medical centre and good medical services to residents.”

A report to Rutland County Council’s cabinet in November said Empingham Medical Centre “had reached a critical point being unable to provide consulting space for vital patient services”.

A decision will be made by Rutland County Council’s planning committee at 7pm on Tuesday (June 1) at Rutland County Museum.

The meeting can be viewed online at: www.zoom.us/j/99090246446

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