A DENTAL practice has had its plans to triple the size of one of its two Barnoldswick's sites rejected by a government planning inspector who found it would create parking and safety issues in the mainly residential area.

My Dentist appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after its application to add a first floor extension to its existing practice in Harrison Street was refused by Pendle Council in March, 2022.

The scheme, which would have seen the dental practice increase from two consulting rooms to six, and also include the addition of four air-conditioning units, and alterations to window and door openings, has now been rejected by a planning inspector who dismissed the appeal, upholding the decision of the council.

In their decision notice, the inspector said the main issue of the proposal was its impact on 'highway safety, with particular regard to parking'.

The existing dentist is single-storey with a five space car park in a predominantly residential area. No increase in parking provision was proposed.

The inspector noted that most staff and patients arriving by vehicle would need to park off-site with parking 'overflowing into the surrounding area'. Parking was concentrated around the appeal site and several vehicles were mounted on the pavement, observed the inspector.

Although there are free car parks in the area, patients 'cannot be relied upon to use them even with a management plan and promotion of them,' said the inspector.

"Given the narrowness of the streets, absence of off-street parking for residents and sensitivity of nearby land uses, additional traffic would find it challenging to manoeuvre around the roads.

"At times of more congestion, such as at the start and end of the school day, there would be minimal space to pull in, and additional conflict around the junctions as the road network requires doubling back from Lower Park Street and Clarence Street back past the site."

The inspector stated: "I cannot conclude that the proposal makes adequate provision for parking without detriment to highway safety."

The inspector said there would be some 'social and community healthcare benefits from the provision of a modern facility' but as it also combined the other surgery, in Park Avenue, it would be 'limited'.

Also, any redevelopment of the Park Avenue practice back to residential use would be subject of a future planning application and so carried 'little weight' at the current time.