Plans that would see Warwick’s former police station transformed into a new three-storey medical centre have been given the green light.
Councillors at Warwick District Council’s planning committee gave the plans submitted by Dudley Taylor Pharmacies Ltd the go-ahead on Tuesday evening.
Now the former police station looks to be demolished to make way for the new medical centre which would house Priory Medical Centre and Cape Road Surgery. As a result the two current sites for the surgeries would close.
The new centre would provide 20 consulting rooms, five treatment rooms, a minor operations theatre, a pharmacy and 41 parking spaces (14 for staff and 27 for patients).
Despite getting the go- ahead the plans have caused a split in opinion for residents in the town. On Warwick District Council’s planning portal there were 29 letters of objection and 69 letters in support.
Many residents raised concerns about the height of the building and the impact it would have on the conservation area as well as inadequate parking spaces. Others also highlighted that by having a pharmacy on site it could lead to other pharmacies in the town closing.
Terry Morris, town and district councillor for the area, said: “I am delighted that residents of Warwick will have access to a state-of-the-art medical centre and am pleased to see the regeneration of this prominent site.
“I do however, feel that the proposal falls short in a number of important areas. This site is at the heart of the conservation area and I am disappointed that the approved design replaces a building which is two-storeys on one-side and single-storey on the other, with a considerably larger three-storey building.
“The construction of the building will also result in the removal of two large trees which have formed part of the setting of Priory Park for many years.
“That said, my biggest concern is regarding traffic and parking. The new centre will generate considerably more traffic than the surgeries it replaces. Warwick District Council’s own policies state that the medical centre should have 118 parking spaces. However, the approved plan only provides 41 spaces, only 35 per cent of what is required.
“The majority of residents in and around the town centre as well as business owners and visitors to the town, all regularly raise concerns regarding the lack of available parking in Warwick.
“The approved plans for the medical centre barely provides sufficient parking for the staff who will work there.”
Warwick police station was closed in 2013 but plans for it to be demolished first surfaced in 2012. In 2012 the Courier ran a story about Dudley Taylor Pharmacies Ltd, buying the site and planning to build a medical centre.
In the same story a spokesperson from the company also said that the medical centre could have been open 12 months after the police moved out. In 2015 plans for the station’s demolition was granted Conservation Area consent. This subsequently ran out.
To view the plans go to Warwick District Council’s planning portal and search W/18/2111.