An appeal over the refusal of plans to turn a doctor’s surgery in Flintshire into housing has been thrown out.
Flintshire Council’s planning department originally turned down an application for the Nook Surgery in Bagillt earlier this year because of the risk of flooding.
It followed the closure of the GP practice to move its services to a new facility created by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.
An appeal was subsequently launched by Dr Nabaz Shamas in a bid to have the decision overturned.
However, a planning inspector appointed by the Welsh Government has now supported the local authority’s conclusion.
In her decision notice, Claire MacFarlane said there was no evidence to show how the risk of flooding had been considered.
She said: “The main issue is whether the development is acceptable in terms of flood risk, with particular regard to national planning policy.
“I note the appellant’s comments that the property has previously been in residential use and is now surplus to requirements as a doctor’s surgery.
“However, there is no tangible evidence that the proposal would meet the tests of Technical Advice Note 15, and in particular there is no assessment or evidence to demonstrate that the consequences of a flooding event have been considered and found to be acceptable.
“Similarly, the proposal would make a very limited contribution to housing supply which would not outweigh the risk of flooding and its consequences for life and property.
“I conclude that the proposed development would conflict with national planning policy regarding flood risk.”
In his appeal submissions, Dr Shamas said the property was no longer needed by the GP practice.
He also claimed the council had initially indicated the proposals were likely to be positively received.
He said: “The property is no longer needed as a surgery as the health board has built a new health centre.
“This was beyond our control. It is joined to a residential property and we believe it was residential prior to becoming a surgery.
“On consulting planning prior to applying for change of use there was no suggestion that this would not be allowed, but were told as it would reduce traffic that it would be viewed positively.”
Despite his comments, Ms MacFarlane chose to dismiss the appeal.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).