Bid to turn village home into dental surgery rejected over parking fears

The house in Windermere, Cleadon Village
The house in Windermere, Cleadon Village

A bid to transform a village house into a dental practice has been turned over parking fears by neighbours.

Applicant Matt Gill lodged a ‘change of use’ application for a house in Windermere, Cleadon Village.

The house in Windermere, Cleadon Village.

The house in Windermere, Cleadon Village.

He wanted to use the detached house, off Front Street, into a dental hub with opening hours of 8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday and 9am – 1pm on Saturday.

South Tyneside Council planners previously raised concerns about the plans due to the home being by a busy road junction and the entrance to a residential estate.

Planning documents indicated the practice would employ two part-time dentists and a full-time receptionist and nurse – but provide just two parking spaces.

During public consultation, 20 letters of support were submitted to the council, citing the lack of availability of dentists in the village and economic boosts to small businesses in the area.

But seven objections were also received, mainly from residents in Windermere, raising concerns about road safety, pressure on existing parking and the potential of the business expanding in future.

In their parking statement, the applicants noted the availability of on-street car parking and bus stops, and argued there was no need to provide extra spaces.

The statement added the operator would also direct patients to a nearby car park and refund car parking fees to clients. 

A planning report added the level of parking proposed – one space available to the public and one within an enclosed garage – fell “significantly below the required standard”.

South Tyneside Council planners made the final decision to refuse the dentist plans.

The refusal notice reads: “The immediate vicinity of the application site already suffers from traffic congestion and parking problems.

“The introduction of a large dental practice at this location, with limited on-site and on-street parking available particularly falling adjacent to the site, would exacerbate the existing parking problems of this locality to the detriment of highway safety.”

Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporting Service