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Medical practice plans to expand

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 15, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

The closed Royal Oak pub.

The closed Royal Oak pub.

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A MEDICAL practice has submitted a planning application to expand its premises to provide additional resources and a new pharmacy.

Park Medical Centre, of Leek, has applied to redevelop its present site in Ball Haye Road and also adjacent land currently occupied by the former Royal Oak pub, in Buxton Road.

In a design and access statement on behalf of the applicant it said: "The principal drivers for the design are the need to provide a vehicular route through the site from Buxton Road to Ball Haye Road to overcome the current problems.

"Due to the difference in level of the existing site and the pub site - approximately two metres - a ramped road has to be accommodated.

"The provision of a new pharmacy is to replace the currently inadequate Lloyds premises in Ball Haye Road with its attendant lack of parking.

"The new pharmacy requires direct internal access from the medical centre reception area.

"The medical centre reception area needs to be at the same level as the majority of the consulting rooms and fairly central to patient facilities. Better patient toilet provision, including disabled facilities, are required. Disabled access to the medical centre reception from the car park is required as the current provision is considered less than ideal.

"The provision of additional consulting rooms is required for teaching purposes and for enhanced service provision - physiotherapy etc. The practice is seeking to become a teaching practice in association with Keele University Medical School."

A marketing report on the Royal Oak, produced by Anthony Shaw of Paramount Properties, is also attached to the planing application.

He said: "We were asked to market the property to let in August 2012 when the current tenants decided not to renew their lease.

"In 2012 their trade started to take a downward slide and asked for concession on their rent. A short period was granted to enable them to get back on their feet. However when this period ended their financial position hadn't improved.

"A for sale board and 400 mail out were distributed.

"Based on the poor level of response received after six months we persuaded our clients to reduce the asking rent and also consider the property 'for sale' as a commercial entity.

"In February 2013 my clients decided to sell the freehold.

"In June 2013 after a prolonged and unsuccessful campaign we advised our clients that they should accept a freehold offer from Park Medical Centre."

A heritage statement on the Royal Oak produced by Jon Millhouse of Planning Design Practice Ltd of Derby said: "If the building was a purpose built pub, it would be a rare early example of such a use.

"From the evidence available however it would appear more likely that the building was a pre-Victorian vernacular dwelling with small scale industrial/commercial/agricultural outbuildings, later extended and converted into a pub in the Victorian era."

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