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GP practice to be turned into bedsit, under planning proposals

Proposals have been submitted to turn a recently closed GP practice in Bristol into a bedsit.

Northville Family Practice, a practice with around 3,000 patients, shut its doors at the end of September due to its AMPS contract expiring.

But a planning application was submitted last month by an architectural firm to South Gloucestershire Council to turn the premises into two houses with multiple occupation (HMO).

If given the green light, the surgery will be split into two residences, with a total of 14 rooms.

Patients have objected to the plans, warning they will no longer be able to walk to their GP and will instead have to take a bus to the nearest surgery.

But those behind the new development have argued it will reduce traffic and trips made by local people.

A supporting document submitted by NSE Architects said: ‘We believe that the impact of the HMO providing 14 rooms over two properties can be considered less of an impact tha[n] the existing and previous use as a doctor’s surgery [with] nine treatment rooms, all seeing approximately 10 persons a day equating to 90 trips a day by patients.

‘The developer Missiato are known in Bristol for delivering high-end properties and only look to invest in developments that create a high living standard.’

The consultation application has so far received four public objections to the proposal since it was published on the council website on 13 September.

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire CCG decided to close Northville Family Practice in July, with the surgery eventually shutting on 30 September.

One member of the public said the plans were ‘ludicrous’ and the area would not be able to cope with ‘such a massive intrusion.’

Another member of the public said the closure of the surgery means he has to take a bus to the next nearest GP practice.

He said: ‘I and many others now have to travel much further to the nearest doctor, which now involves a bus ride instead of walking.’

He added: ‘The local population needs the doctor’s surgery, not more HMOs….The council is also looking to increase income from the council tax revenues they will receive from any new residents.

‘This area of Bristol/Filton/Northville is full and in fact already over-crowded. There are already too many HMOs. Please cancel this poorly advised development ASAP and re-open the doctor’s surgery.’

Filton Parish Council also raised concerns regarding designated parking on an ‘already congested and narrow street’.

The planning application is being considered for approval by the council.