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Nowster pub could become new health centre

Date published: 15 October 2018


An ‘eyesore’ former pub could be knocked down to make way for a new health centre.

Plans have been submitted to demolish The Nowster public house in Oldham Road, Middleton, and replace it with a new facility which will include a GP’s surgery and dental practice.

Applicants Dr Louise Thompson and Dr Glyn Stockton currently run a practice from a  temporary building named The Hive, in Clough Street.

Efforts to establish a new surgery and pharmacy at the Clough Street site fell through due to legal difficulties, while planning permission for The Nowster granted in 2012 has now lapsed.

An increasing number of patients using the surgery has made a move to a larger builiding all the more urgent.

And the partners are now hoping plans for a two-story centre, purpose-built facility  will be given the go-ahead after being largely welcomed by residents.

The new proposals do not include a pharmacy, but Middleton East councillor Donna Martin said she was very much in favour of the proposals.

She said: “This is going to offer a first-class GP and dental practice, it’s in the Middleton East ward but on the edge of Middleton North ward which has four residential homes as well as an ageing population, so the access will be really beneficial.

“But it’s not just about the older generation, it’s going to be a great  facility for anyone, even if it’s a new mum, so we really welcome it. I can’t wait for it to get going.”

And she added that replacing The Nowster, which has been vacant since 2011 would also bring considerable benefits to those who have had to live in the shadow of the derelict building.

She said: “It’s not just the practice and dentist and health service is welcome, it’s also the end of that derelict site for residents. 

“It’s an eyesore and people have lived opposite it for years. It creates other health problems, if you’re looking at a derelict site which is dilapidated and being vandalised, so that’s a real positive.

“It’s more than welcome by residents who have seen it as an eyesore for quite some time.”

Alan Doherty, building designer with agent Whittaker Design said the growing number of patients at the practice meant a move from Clough Street was essential.

He said: “It’s obviously needed, the actual practice has gone from one to three doctors, and the present building is only designed for one or two and it’s now struggling with space.

“It’s a successful practice and getting more and more patients and needs bigger premises. It’s still within the catchment area, that site is available and that’s why they purchased it.”

Nick Statham, Local Democracy Reporter

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