Shock Over Proposal to Close Bedford Park Surgery
Anger due to lack of notice with deadline for comments this Wednesday
Patients registered with the Bedford Park Surgery in Chiswick have expressed shock and anger after plans to close it were revealed. Many people are upset about the lack of notice about the proposal with the deadline to make a comment on the application is this Wednesday (12 February).
A planning application (195438FUL) has been made to Ealing Council for a change of use at the site at 55 South Parade and to build three flats.
The semi-detached property has served as a doctors’ surgery for decades. The application states that, “It is intended that The Bedford Park Surgery will close and all patients will be allocated to nearby GP surgeries in accordance with NHS procedures. The property will therefore be vacant and the key design principle is to return the property into residential use”.
The application has been made on behalf of Dr John Keen, a GP at the surgery.
The site is within the Acton Green Conservation area and residents were unaware of the plan until a site notice appeared outside recently. It has been claimed by a number of people that the notice only appeared in the last few days. Neighbours of the property say they did not receive a letter notifying them of the plan.
The application was received and validated on 23 December last year. The Ealing Council web site says that the ‘standard’ consultation for the application started on 17 January and the plan was advertised in the press on 22 January. A date of Sunday 16 February is given as the ‘determination deadline’ but it is not known if this is when a decision will be made. In the ‘Design and Access Statement’ submitted with the application it is claimed “As the proposals are small in scale and simple in nature it has not been considered necessary to undertake any specific consultations in this regard”.
Ealing Council normally publicise planning applications in the Ealing Gazette. This is distributed by depositing copies at various points throughout the borough but it is believed that there are no deposit points within a mile of the surgery. A number of residents are questioning the validity of the application on this basis.
In response to messages of concern from patients the surgery replied with the following statement, "Dr Keen is retiring at the end of the year, and as the property owner he is currently considering all the options regarding the property. There are no planned changes in the services provided by The Bedford Park Surgery and patients can be assured that their care will continue as it has always done. Similarly there are no planned changes in staff, apart from Dr Keen's retirement. Patients and staff will be kept informed if there are to be any changes regarding The Bedford Park Surgery and its situation. In the meantime please rest assured the surgery is not closing."
We have asked Dr Keen for comment and we have asked Ealing Council to confirm when the site notice was placed and if the press notice was in the Ealing Gazette whether they are asserting that this fulfils the statutory obligation of the applicant.
Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group, who are responsible for GP services in the area, issued a comment in response to our query today saying :"The practice is looking at future site options, but no decisions have been made at this time."
You can comment on the proposal online.
February 11, 2020