Bishopston Medical Practice, on Nevil Road, have applied for permission to extend the use of their temporary buildings (Portakabins) for a further three years.
There is a clear conflict in this matter between the need for good planning practice and the need for this vital local service. I am therefore of a neutral opinion on the proposals but would like to ensure that this, if granted, is the final temporary period the Practice is allowed to have, given this is clearly not a sustainable location in the long term.
You can read my full comment below, and you can view the application by visiting planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications and searching 19/01222/F
My full comment on the application
With this application it is clear that there is a need to balance good planning practice with the need for the vital local health service that Bishopston Medical Practice provides.
Residents have made clear to me the ongoing issues they experience with the practice, including the hours of use and aesthetics.
There is a lack of parking in the area for patients, employees and residents alike, resulting in unsafe parking by some. This, plus the traffic and pollution on narrow residential streets that comes with it, is a key reason why this is not a sustainable location for a busy GPs’ Practice.
However, it is clear that the Practice needs this space in order to deliver its vital service to the local area. To that end I am neither for or against the application, but do wish for this to be the last temporary extension to the permission. Therefore, if permission is granted, I would strongly suggest conditions to ensure that the Practice makes real progress in finding a new site within the next three years, including an initial plan and regular updates which should be made publicly available.
I also note the reported lack of compliance with the conditions of the existing permission, as detailed within the public comments. If officers find this noncompliance to be the case then I would also suggest that any new permission should include enforced adherence to the initial conditions.