Wood Lane Medical Centre, Hornchurch, given approval for extension

Councillors voted to approve plans for an extension of a Hornchurch medical centre at last week’s regulatory services meeting.

Council officers had recommended that a proposal to move the existing patient’s entrance and extend the back of the Wood Lane Medical Centre be refused because it would be an “unneighbourly development” with a canopy which would be visually intrusive.

But Cllr Steven Kelly (Conservative, Emerson Park) called in the proposal to the committee and argued that the borough needs to develop its medical facilities.

He said: “This isn’t an extension of a residential property, it wouldn’t impinge on people at night.

“It offers a whole range of medical consultations that are only available at Queen’s, and gives people in the south of our borough access to those.”

He quoted part of the council’s policy on healthcare to back up his argument, and said: “I’ve never done this before – read our policy – I don’t usually do this.”

The centre offers minor surgery and child health surveillance as well as other treatments.

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Committee members Ron Ower (Residents’ Association, Upminster), Jeff Brace (Conservative, Emerson Park) and Linda Hawthorn (Residents’ Association, Upminster) backed his calls to accept the plans subject to condition that the medical centre scales back its plans for its canopy.

Cllr Barry Tebbutt (Conservative, Brooklands) asked if there was any way to stop the extension being approved and the centre reverting to a residential property in future.

Officers told him there was no way to ensure this.

The amended proposal was accepted by eight votes in favour, to two against.

The committee also rejected a proposal for a new dentist surgery in High Street, Hornchurch. For more details see Friday’s Recorder.

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