Brighton dentist given permission to expand

A dentist’s surgery can be extended after councillors granted planning permission for an extra floor.

Members of Brighton and Hove City Council’s Planning Committee unanimously approved adding a first floor to Deans Dental, in New Barn Road, Rottingdean, despite officers recommending refusal.

A previous application with a pitched roof was refused on appeal in April, and planning officers said that the new flat-roofed design would be “bulky” and “detrimental” to the area.

Rottingdean Coastal ward Conservative councillor Mary Mears spoke in support of the application, which was backed by a 164-signature petition.

She said that Rottingdean was losing its infrastructure as it had lost a doctor’s surgery and was down to one dentist.

Many people in the area have to head into Brighton or to Saltdean on the A259 or take two buses to seek medical treatment.

Councillor Mears said: “We also have further development coming into the area with Meadowvale and St Aubyns School, which will attract more residents to the area.

“Although we can provide new homes for people, we also have to provide infrastructure, doctors and dentists, rather than have to go right into the city to find these services.”

She said that the extension was an improvement on the one-storey building already in place.

Planning consultant Paul Burgess, from Lewis and Co, said that the application was in response to the need for more dentists in the area.

He said: “The existing practice is small but serves the Rottingdean, Woodingdean and Saltdean areas.

“With additional housing being built in the area, the need for health services will only be increasing.”

Mr Burgess said that the dentist lived in the attached house and any impact was his choice.

He said that it had village-wide support and a lack of objections from neighbours and would allow a second dentist to work from the surgery.

Labour councillor Daniel Yates said that the community seemed more concerned about better dental services than a “boxy” first-floor extension.

Green councillor Leo Littman, who chairs the Planning Committee, said that it was unusual for him to vote against an officer recommendation for refusal, but he could not see the grounds for rejecting the plans.

He said: “The single-storey extension looks a little odd. The pictures we’ve seen of the additional storey improved the look of it (and) I don’t think it interrupts the street scene, which is varied.”

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