Traffic issue as expanding surgery set for go-ahead

OBJECTORS say a doctor’s has outgrown its current home — as plans to add 11 consulting rooms are set to be recommended for approval.

Broom Lane Medical Centre is looking to expand to 10,000 patients from 8,300, under a merger with the surgery at Broom Valley.

The latter would be closed and a neighbouring bungalow on Broom Lane demolished to make space for the extension.

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The proposal is expected to go before Rotherham’s planning board next Thursday with a recommendation to approve.

But objectors say there are safety concerns relating to highways — and point out that enough parking cannot be provided, under RMBC’s own guidance.

Broom Lane resident Martin Ollivant said: “There’s not only the doctor’s here, there’s businesses to the right and the left.

“If you visit for an hour, you’ll have heard a car horn beeping.

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“We are currently at a point where this part of Broom Lane and neighbouring roads are gridlocked on weekdays and regular nuisance from parking and traffic is causing upset.

“We believe this medical centre has already outgrown the area it sits within and would be better suited relocating to a more central and suitable area.”

Opposition group leader Cllr Allen Cowles said: “There must be better locations for an expanded service, for example Herringthorpe where the temporary drive-in flu vaccination centre was a great success.”

He added: “I believe the current application to be misleading.

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“It doesn’t cover any of the current problems related to traffic or parking, or the nuisance behaviour resulting from the open Tarmac area in front of the centre after hours.”

The expanded site would have 17 parking spaces — seven of which will be for patient use.

A transport statement from SLR Consulting on behalf of Pennington Choices Ltd in support of the application said the site was well-located for travel by bus, cycle or on foot.

It noted the number of current patient parking spaces was less than the number of treatment rooms, but this would not be the case after expansion. There would be a “negligible impact” in terms of overspill, the statement said.

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RMBC’s recommendation to the planning board had not been published as the Advertiser went to press yesterday.

However, senior highways officer Ian Ferguson has said in one memo: “The anticipated traffic generation has been assessed in the transport statement and I concur with the conclusion that the proposal will not have a material impact on the highway network.

“Whilst the statement points out that car parking based on the council’s car parking guidance ‘cannot be achieved’, for commercial development, the council’s standards are maximum not minimum requirements. This seeks to discourage travel by car, thereby improving congestion, road safety and air quality.”

Mr Ollivant commissioned his own review of the transport statement by consulting engineers Sanderson Associates.

Their report said: “It is our view that a medical centre of the size proposed should be constructed on a purpose-built site where a much larger parking area can be provided.”

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