Officers reject bid to turn home into dental surgery

CONTROVERSIAL plans to convert an old Ponteland house into a dental practice have been refused.

Onkar Dhanoya had applied for a change of use at 31 Bell Villas, which would have included a new vehicular access and parking area, but this was turned down by Northumberland County Council planning officers under delegated powers.

It is currently a mid-19th-century double-fronted residential property and there were 37 objections from local residents. Ponteland Town Council was also opposed.

Many of the letters said that the building should remain residential and another dental practice is not needed and an increase in traffic congestion, loss of trees and wildlife, potential increase to flood risk and permanent changes to the character of an original Ponteland property were among their concerns.

Although planning officers believe the proposals would not have a detrimental impact on neighbour amenity, in their report they explained that there are two grounds for refusing the application.

The report said: “The site is located on the main road through Ponteland and is within the conservation area.

“The proposed vehicular access would remove a significant portion of plinth wall and hedge along the frontage of the main thoroughfare of this area. It is considered that this frontage makes an important contribution to Ponteland’s streetscape and its removal would detract from its character and appearance.

“The plan to remove the garden area and replace it with nine car parking spaces would adversely affect the garden setting of the site and have a detrimental impact on the property itself.”