Dental surgery shop front ‘does not suit’ high street

Plans for a dentist’s surgery that “does not suit” the high street have been approved, despite concerns over the future appearance of the frontage.
Horizons Dental Care, at 67, High Street, Biddulph, submitted plans to make alterations to the frontage of the premises at the beginning of the month. 
Last Tuesday, at a meeting of Biddulph Town Council’s Planning Comm-ittee, councillors voiced concerns about the dentist’s new look not being in keeping with the high street.
The main visible change would be a wooden panelled section across the front of the shop, displaying the surgery’s logo. The red cedar cladding would replace the current purple sign.
Other changes include new, illuminated signage, a new entrance door and windows.
Independent Coun Wayne Rogers said: “We have had quite long discussions about shop frontages in the neighbourhood plan and how they should meet a certain criteria, I don’t think this application does, personally.
“I know they have windows that aren’t very good at this moment in time, but if we’re trying to make the high street attractive I don’t think it suits it.”
Chief officer Sarah Haydon said that she would highlight in the council’s feedback relevant principles in the neighbourhood plan and the neighbourhood development order that might concern this application.
Town mayor Coun Jim Barlow said: “The neighbourhood development order is really only an encouragement, it doesn’t have a legal foundation. I don’t think we can object to this application.”
Councillors subsequently voted to raise no objections to the plan, despite concerns over the frontage of the premises not “suiting” the high street.
It was suggested that the dental surgery might be willing to make a few tweaks based on the councillors’ concerns once the application had been approved. 
However, Independent Coun David Hawley said: “I can’t see them doing it now that they’ve paid for their planning permission.”

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