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Newark Town Council backs Assura Aspire Limited plans to turn Woods Court into a medical centre for Barnbygate Surgery, Newark

A proposal to turn a former care home into a medical centre and pharmacy has been supported by town councillors.

The planning application for the Woods Court site in Newark, submitted by primary care property specialist Assura Aspire Ltd, was backed by Newark Town Council planning committee.

Plans include the relocation of Barnbygate Surgery to the former day care building on the corner of London Road and Bowbridge Road.

Barnby Gate Surgery, Newark
Barnby Gate Surgery, Newark

The existing GP practice can no longer operate properly out of its current premises. Room sizes are under-sized and do not comply with the strict infection control requirements.

Services normally provided in a hospital or other local clinics could be provided at the new building, freeing up facilities for more specialist procedures and improving healthcare capacity.

The proposed main entrance would be on the south side of the existing building, and this would lead to a large reception area with self check-in stations and waiting areas.

Within Barnbygate GP practice there would be eight consulting rooms, five treatment rooms, four remote consulting rooms, a counselling room and a phlebotomy room.

Access into the site would be from from Walker Close.

Nearly 60 parking spaces are proposed, which includes three fully accessible spaces, two electric vehicle charging spaces and 13 staff parking spaces.

Sixteen cycle parking spaces are also proposed, including one for staff and two for visitors.

This sets out a cycle parking facility of 56 in total. Pedestrian access into the site would also be from Walker Close as existing and a new access point from London Road.

30 trees are proposed to be removed for the construction of the car park, and councillors have suggested Fountain Gardens as a potential location for tree planting to mitigate the loss of trees on the site.

Councillors supported the application, however, they had serious concerns about the impact of traffic on the residential streets in the area.

They also wanted the bat population in and around the site, which will be affected when trees are relocated, to be taken into consideration.

The initial application by Assura Aspire Ltd was to relocate both Fountain Medical Centre and Barnbygate Surgery to the building.

However, Fountain Medical Centre decided to not proceed with its proposed relocation due in part to the level of car parking which followed comments made by Nottinghamshire County Council’s highways department. The practice now consider parking to be insufficient to support their practice despite their current facilities having no dedicated patient parking.

Highways objected to the application as they suggested Walker Close is not wide enough to accommodate parking and that it would increase congestion on London Road.

They also received numerous complaints with regard to vehicles creating obstructions and a poor parking provision would exacerbate this issue.

Newark Town Council planning committee was supportive of the application with the condition of highways concerns being addressed and tree mitigation.

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