From Burger King to dentist?

A planning application has just been published for an orthodontic practice in the former Burger King premises in the High Street.  This will set the council a challenge, for (we’re working from memory here) the council’s policy is to resist any change of use from retail in the town.

However, as the application points out, the National Planning Policy “…is that policies should avoid the long term protection of sites allocated for employment use where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for that purpose. Land allocations should be regularly reviewed. Where there is no reasonable prospect of a site being used for the allocated employment use, applications for alternative uses of land or buildings should be treated on their merits having regard to market signals and the relative need for different land uses to support sustainable local communities”.  But we reckon this is pushing things a bit;  the Burger King restaurant hasn’t been empty very long – possibly not long enough to prove that there is no reasonable prospect of a new retailer moving in.

But we’re also going to object to the application over a particular detail.  In response to the question ‘Is any hazardous waste involved in the proposal?’ the applicant has answered ‘No’.  Now, if the orthodontic practice is anything like the Eye’s dentist, we reckon that it will produce hazardous waste, if only in modest quantities.  Have a look at https://bit.ly/2KfENNw  where you’ll find some relevant information, including the instruction “Extracted teeth containing amalgam fillings should be segregated into a separate container. This container is usually supplied under contract from the company you use for hazardous waste.”  So we reckon that a more accurate answer to the question should be ‘Yes’.

6 thoughts on “From Burger King to dentist?

  1. Dentists are among the few occupations/businesses that can afford the high rents and rates these days, based on what my dentist charges me.

  2. Orthodontists, in my experience, specialise in straightening youngsters’ teeth. They may have to pull one tooth or two to make space, but one would hope that they are not full of amalgam yet. While the child is being treated Mum and/or Dad may have a coffee in Camberley, or even go shopping.

    • I’m certainly not claiming any expertise in this area. But, a quote from a waste contractor: “As an example, it is commonly known that dental and orthodontic practices accrue substantial amounts of hazardous waste.” Or: “Dental Plaster Made From Gypsum
      In many cases study models are not infectious, however gypsum is a controlled at landfill waste. Best practice is to segregate at the source into an additional container, check with the waste contractor for clarification.

      There is likely to be a small number of study models which are contaminated and pose a risk of infection. These are to be disposed of as hazardous clinical waste and should be put in the orange bag.”

  3. Are barbers,hairdressers, tattoo parlours or nail bars retail? In my mind they provide a service just as an orthodontist does and they seem to have had no problem getting permission for their use in the recent past.
    I would rather a smart dental practice in town than another vape shop, barbers shop or takeaway.

    • We’ll get the shops that we’re prepared to pay for, obviously. Market forces, rather than the council, or the wishes of ‘non-users’, dictate our mix of retailers. Hairdressers fall into planning class A1 – ‘Shops and retail’. I’m not an expert, but I guess that tattoo parlours and nail bars fall into ‘Sui generis’. The applicant for the orthodontist states that it falls into class D1 – ‘Non residential institutions’. The applicant presumably thinks this change of use could run contrary to the council’s official policy of protecting retail uses in the town centre – I guess this is why the application cites the NPPF which says that land shouldn’t be retained for a particular use when there doesn’t seem to be a demand for it. There’s a sort-of precedent; the council has recently agreed that one of the empty Park Street shops can be turned into ballet school premises. But it’s up to the council planning committee; I just watch!

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