Controversial plans for Hoole medical centre site


Neil Bellis

CONTROVERSIAL proposals have been submitted to turn a Chester GP surgery into a shop.

The Elms Medical Centre in Hoole Road, Hoole, is to close with medical services transferred to the controversial super-clinic, formerly the Delamere Street bus station.

The planning application requests the medical centre should be used as a shop, with one potential occupant thought to be retail giant Tesco.

Steve Edgeller of planners Edgeplan said:“The site would be attractive to the operator of a local convenience store, although no operator has yet been identified.

“Such a store would cater for the day-to-day needs of local residents in the surrounding area, and with the exception of passers-by, it would not be expected to draw shoppers from elsewhere in the city.”

There are concerns a small-scale supermarket, or convenience store would ruin the aesthetics of the area and would drive people away from other independent shops that make up the current Hoole shopping area.

Cllr Bob Thompson, said: “Tesco already have many outlets in the city, the city need to prove its own identity and that will be secured with a balance of the small independents and the highstreet stores and supermarkets/mini markets. The application restricts competition; suffocates a currently vibrant community and does nothing for Chester.”

Collin Potts, of Hamilton Street, Hoole, said: “This would adversely affect the character both of Chester city – the approach – and of Hoole – the location of the shops.”

Other concerns involve the turnover of additional through traffic that would use the single-lane Hoole Road, especially for the store, causing additional strain on the flow of traffic.

Steve Wright, of Hamilton Street, Hoole, said: “This shop will have a rapid turnover of customers. It will generate significant levels of cars trying to return to Hoole Road after shopping.”

The plan also allow for 17 parking spaces, two disabled parking spaces, and room for five bikes.

See full story in the Leader

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