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Just what the doctor ordered as Armagh Archway Surgery extension plans approved!

The proposals include additional consultation rooms for healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists, social workers and mental health practitioners

Armagh Archway Surgery

A significant cash injection will see Armagh’s Archway Surgery transformed as plans for a major expansion have now been approved.

The Dobbin Lane facility will be better placed to cope with growing demand after proposals – first revealed by Armagh I in March last year – were considered acceptable.

The GP surgery will now benefit from the addition of more consultation rooms.

And the development, when completed, would see six more staff located at the Archway on a daily basis, bringing the total to 21.

The extension will be to the rear of the practice and located at first floor level.

The Archway currently has a total of seven ‘clinical consulting rooms’ at ground floor level and there are no proposed changes at this level.

However, four more consultation rooms will be located directly above the existing seven bringing the surgery’s new capacity to 11. It would add close to 2,000 sq ft to the total floorspace of the city-based facility.

The additional consultation rooms is to provide availability for other health care professionals, such as physiotherapists, social workers and mental health practitioners.

The extension – which would represent a significant investment – also includes an upstairs waiting area, as well as a committee room.

There would also be disabled toilet provision with a lift connecting both floors.

The first floor as it stands is not for public use and largely represents office accommodation and staff facilities, as well as welfare and comforts accommodations, including toilets, shower, kitchen. The district nurses room is also located here.

The stand-alone Archway Surgery – together with the adjoined Friary and Abbey Court – are the three medical practices based at Dobbin Lane, on the site of the former Armagh Health Centre.

The Archway moved to its current premises in November 1999 and this would be the first major scheme of works at the practice in the intervening years.

Planners, in preparing their report, note that the proposals are appropriate for the area; given the “existing health facilities on the site” officers are “content that the proposed health centre extension is acceptable at this location subject to all other planning and environmental considerations”.

The report adds: “It is the opinion of officers that extending this type of service in the central area would help to ensure that it would encourage people to the town centre and is in a location that would be accessible by public transport.

“Considering this officers are content that the principle of development is acceptable at this location within the central area of Armagh City.”

The report also states that officials are “content” that the expansion “will not detract from the existing townscape of Armagh and, considering the surrounding residential development within proximity of the site, the proposal is considered to be sensitive to the surrounding area in terms of design, scale and use of materials”.

DfI Roads, meanwhile, have acknowledged that there will be a “shortfall in the parking provision” at the site.

But they note too that, while there are on and off street parking in the area, and that the area is well serviced by public transport, the “use of a doctors surgery tends to attract a greater number of people with limited mobility than other uses”.

The formal decision to approve has now been issued to the Archway Surgery.

RELATED: Armagh GP practice to undergo major extension to cope with growing demand

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