Plan to convert pub into surgery in Hailsham turned down

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DOCTORS want to take over an office and convert it into a GP surgery after plans to move into a town centre pub were turned down.

Dr Isa Oezburun has applied on behalf of Bethany House Surgery to change the use of an office at 3 Town House Gardens in Hailsham, currently used by a recruitment company.

The application sent to Wealden District Council follows an aborted attempt by Bethany House to takeover the Terminus Pub site in the town centre – an idea which was turned down by the local health authority, as reported in the Sussex Express.

At the time NHS Sussex said GPs were needed in the north east of the town, not near existing practices in the town centre.

In a supporting statement for the new proposal, planning agent Alan Armstrong of GP Surveyors said new jobs would be created and the application site could be used for ‘good, community use’.

He wrote: “The property is believed to have been on the rental market for some time and interest in it as an office being limited, which is indicative of both the current economic situation and the office market generally.”

Mr Armstrong said the application complemented the Hailsham and Hellingly Masterplan and predicted increases in Hailsham’s population in the future meant more GP services were needed.

He added: “The location of the property also benefits from nearby, additional healthcare properties such as the dental surgery next door at 2 Town House Gardens and nearby at Sturton Place, and chiropractors, podiatrists and chiropractists that are located close by on North Street, thus ensuring that the proposal for change of use to a GP surgery is consistent with the surrounding properties.”

If the application is given permission, the new GP surgery would be open from 8.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Three consultation rooms would be set up and parking is to be for staff-only near the building.

Patients could park for free in the nearby Cuckoo Trail, Quintins and Victoria Road car parks which provide ‘good pedestrian access to the building’, according to Mr Armstrong.