Extension to deadline for comments on closure of Bedford Park Surgery

I reported on Tuesday that the owner of the building which houses Bedford Park Surgery is seeking planning permission to convert the building into flats. Dr John Keen, the doctor who runs surgery in South Parade and also owns the building, is retiring from the practice. He has been a GP in Chiswick since 1988. He has applied to Ealing Council to convert the GP Surgery house into three self-contained flats with a single storey rear extension.

The Design and Access statement from architects 2PM says: ‘ It is intended that The Bedford Park Surgery will close and all patients will be allocated to nearby GP surgeries in accordance with NHS procedures’.

Images above: Bedford Park Surgery, 55 South Parade; architect’s drawing of the proposed front elevation, by architects 2PM

Local residents are concerned that if the change of use is approved, it will leave them without a nearby GP, as Chiswick Health Centre, on Fishers Lane, is also due to be demolished, with the three practices which currently occupy the space being moved to a building on Stamford Brook Avenue while it is redeveloped.

Deadline for comments extended

The notification of consultation was published on 22 January, and initially residents only had until 12 February to oppose the development.

‘Unfortunately, the Council (conveniently?) only posted the notice on lampposts, at the end of last week’ says Owen Grainger…  ‘If you object to the loss of the Doctors’ Surgery, you need to go onto Ealing Council’s Planning Department’s website and make your objection very quickly’.

Cllr Andrew Steed, a Lib Dem councillor for Southfield ward, contacted the planning office at Ealing Council to ask for an extension and Planning Officer Smruti Patel has now confirmed an extension. Residents have until 11 March to get their comments in to the planning office.

Grounds for objection

‘Objections should be on “planning grounds”. The loss of such an essential facility and purely for the financial benefit of the building’s owner, can be mentioned, as permission for the conversion of the original surgery, around the corner, in Rusthall Avenue, was the provision of 55 South Parade as a replacement surgery’ says Owen Grainger.

But Cllr Andrew Steed, a Lib Dem councillor for Southfield ward, told me as far as he was aware, the overall number of GP places available in the area was not in itself a reason for the planning officers to turn the application down. That is not what ‘planning grounds’ means.

Go here to submit your comments to Ealing Council’s planning team.