Image above: Planned new Chiswick Health Centre building
The plans for the development of Chiswick Health Centre are due to be discussed by LB Hounslow’s Planning Committee on Wednesday 31 March, with Council planning officers recommending the development goes ahead.
The planning application before the committee seeks permission to demolish the existing building and to erect of a new health centre along with 55 residential units, ‘all of which would be affordable and social rented.’
The proposed building would range between four and six storeys in height.
Image above: Chiswick Health Centre as it is currently
Current health centre “way past its sell-by date”
The development would deliver a new health centre with increased capacity. North West London Clinical Commissioning Group, which covers the Chiswick area, say Chiswick Health Centre does not meet the relevant standards for health care and patients are not receiving the level of care expected.
The proposal seeks to redevelop the site to provide ‘a modern, fit for purpose Health Centre to replace the existing Chiswick Health Centre, with a modernised facility which would accommodate an increased range of services within the community’.
Robert Flann, Pratice Manager at the Chiswick Health Practice, one of several surgeries at the centre, told The Chiswick Calendar in October 2019 that the short term upset entailed in the building work and relocating patients would be worth the long term gain. The population is growing and it is also ageing.
“The building is way past its sell-by date and once we have a brand new building we will be able to offer our patients a better service”.
Attention then was focused on how far patients would have to travel to see a doctor while the work was going on. Since then has become less of an issue, as we’ve all become used to patient consultations by phone.
Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group is reliant on a developer for the capital to carry out the redevelopment of the medical centre.
The 55 dwellings would all be affordable housing (100%) and would be let at Council rent levels. The proposal seeks a mix of one, two and three bed units, of which 10% are to be wheelchair accessible. The developer is proposing a fifth floor garden terrace and a landscaped central courtyard at the first floor to provide shared amenity spaces.
Planners consider development plans ‘appropriate’
The Council has carried out a process of consultation with residents over the past year. The Council directly notified 767 neighbouring residents and business and received 39 responses.
Among the objections were concerns about alternative provision while the building work was carried out, the overall size of the building dominating the area and overlooking surrounding residential properties, the lack of disabled car parking and inappropriate provision for ambulance drop-off. Also the loss of car parking spaces for residents of Arnott Close and lack of car parking for the new health centre.
The proposal seeks the provision of eight parking spaces for staff including one disabled space and 18 long stay cycle spaces for the 68 (full time) employees of the new facility. The residential element of the development would be car-free, but there would be three disabled parking bays located on the northern side of Dolman Road.
Although the proposal would result in the removal of eight trees, a total of twelve trees would be replanted.
Hounslow’s planning officers are recommending planning permission be granted and planning permission issued on 31 June 2021. Building work would start within three years of that date.
They say: “It is considered that the proposal would be of an appropriate height, scale and design which would contribute positively to the street scene and general townscape without appearing as an unduly prominent or overbearing feature”.
There will be a temporary health centre at Stamford Brook to cater for the current centre’s 20,000 patients.
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