Surgery mistake

PUBLISHED: 11:59 10 March 2006 | UPDATED: 21:46 28 May 2010

A MISUNDERSTANDING over planning permission has halted work on part of the new Whittlesey medical centre being built west of Cemetery Road off the town's bypass. Abbeygate Properties, which is building the replacement for the cramped Queen Street doctors'

A MISUNDERSTANDING over planning permission has halted work on part of the new Whittlesey medical centre being built west of Cemetery Road off the town's bypass.Abbeygate Properties, which is building the replacement for the cramped Queen Street doctors' surgery, thought it had permission for a front extension, about three metres larger than original plans.But when residents complained, a Fenland District Council officer visited the site and said work must stop on the extension and Abbeygate must re-submit its entire application.Nigel Brown, the district council's development manager, said: "It's all a bit of a storm in a teacup."Abbeygate Properties wanted to increase the internal size of a minor operations room, and were told they did not need additional planning approval."But this caused the building to bulge and meant the front extension was two to three metres further towards the A605 bypass than in original plans."They believed this was covered by planning permission but it wasn't."Mr Brown said Abbeygate was "up in arms at first" but now everything had been sorted out amicably and a planning application was to be resubmitted.He stressed building work could continue on other parts of the centre and that the application could be approved within a month by a planning officer under delegated powers - unless there were objections, which would mean it having to be dealt with by the planning committee.Currently 8,000 patients use the Queen Street surgery which has no lift access for the elderly or disabled. The long-awaited new centre, currently up to first-floor window level and due for completion within a year, will have these facilities.The practice, which also has a surgery in Stanground, has 12 doctors and when the new medical centre is complete, the existing surgery will be sold.

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