Swindon dentist plan approved alongside new block of flats

A plan for a new dental surgery and a block of flats on land behind Covingham Square has been approved.

Mayhew Dental, which operates from a site at the end of Covingham Drive, behind the shops in the square and overlooking Dorcan Way, will be able to knock down its existing building and an unused single-storey former physiotherapy clinic.

In their place, the practice will be able to build a new three-storey building, with significantly improved facilities for dentists and patients on the ground floor, and twelve flats on the two upper storeys, four two-bed units and eight single-bedroom apartments.

Plans show the single building will be sited in the southeast corner of the plot of land, closest to Dorcan way, which will allow a turning circle for an ambulance.

Mayhew’s application said: “Following the Covid Pandemic there have been several significant changes in regulations to enable the provision of dental services in England. Many of these current regulations will remain even after Covid restrictions in the country have been relaxed.

“The current dental surgery building is no longer suitable and has severe limitations to maximise the provision of dental care going forward.”

In the new building, there will be two waiting areas one on the ground floor, and one on the second floor to allow greater distancing for patients.

There will be larger, more easily-used accessible toilets and improved staff facilities.

The new building will provide female and male changing and locker rooms, staff toilets and a lunch and staff room.  The b a large and comfortable space to hold practice meetings and for everyone to have lunch together.

The report by Swindon Borough Council planners which recommended approval of the scheme said: “The residential units will make a positive contribution to the borough’s housing stock and the dental practice will improve the level of available community services. The scheme is compliant all other relevant adopted policies of the Swindon Borough Local Plan.”

Mayhew Dental had originally been given planning permission in November 2020 to turn the empty physiotherapy clinic on the site behind the shops in Covingham Square into flats.

The proposals were to knock down the unused single-storey building on the practice’s site and put up a three-storey block of nine flats.

But the Covid-19 pandemic and the extra precautions dentists had to take showed the clinic the limitations of the existing practice building, forcing a rethink.


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