Guernsey Press

Queens Road practice’s Grange move comes closer

THE former Education Offices in the Grange could soon be sold to Queens Road Medical Practice.

The former Education offices in The Grange. (30205154)

The property, which belongs to the States, has been on the market since early 2020 for £1.75m. and is now under offer.

The latest update comes after planning permission was granted to convert the building into seven flats and a medical centre.

Queens Road Medical Practice chief executive officer Will Pierce said it was pleased to get permission.

‘Receiving a positive response to our change of use application is a great step towards Queens Road finding a new home,’ he said.

‘We are hopeful that this will enable the purchase to smoothly be completed before Christmas.’

The permission report details how there were three letters of representation for the application, which were largely supportive of the plans.

Health & Social Care also backed the scheme, saying the new premises would allow the practice to offer new preventative and diagnostic services and was also on main transport routes, making it easier for people to access.

But the planners did face a concern when they considered the application. The site is an allocated housing site, meaning that other sorts of use apart from housing would not normally be considered.

‘However, in light of the nature and purpose of the proposed development in this particular case, the application can potentially be considered under IDP Policy S5: Development of Strategic Importance,’ the report stated. That policy means development in the public interest may be allowed, if no suitable alternatives are available.

Planners said they were satisfied that the development was strategically important.

It was also noted that the site has some challenges, including a protected building, and this meant there had been no interest in a purely residential development on the site in the five years since it was first identified for housing. That helped encourage the planners to consider alternative uses.

‘In these circumstances, it is accepted that the proposals are of strategic importance in relation to the health and wellbeing of the community and also that there is no alternative site available that, based on evidence available to the authority, is more suitable for the proposed development.’