A DENTAL firm has won permission to set up a new practice in Durham City following a decision by council planners.

In September, a change of use application was lodged for 1A Hawthorn Terrace, which formerly housed a gym and pilates studio.

Applicant ‘Mydentist’ claims to be the largest dental care provider in Europe with a network of more than 600 practices.

New plans aimed to revamp the former gym with a large practice on the ground floor.

Plans show spaces for a general surgery, polyclinic, oral hygiene, scanning facilities, staff rooms and reception lobby.

According to planning documents, the practice will create around 12 jobs, including eight full-time and four part-time roles.

Following a period of consultation, Durham County Council’s planning department has now approved the plans.

Officers agreed that proposals met City of Durham Local Plan policies around new health centres, surgeries and clinics.

A decision report reads: “The proposed location is located within the Durham (City Centre) Conservation Area situated near to the edge of the Durham City defined shopping area and within what appears to be primarily a residential area of the city.

“Given the close proximity to the North Road area of the city centre, the proposal would accord with the policy in terms of having access to public transport links including the rail and bus stations. 

“Therefore, the change of use is acceptable in principle.”

The report added the dental practice would have less of an impact on neighbouring residents than the former gym use.

As part of the approval, site works, including deliveries and the use of generators, will be limited to reduce disruption for neighbours.

Agreed hours include 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday, 9am-2pm on Saturday and all noisy work to be avoided on Sundays.

Signage for the dental practice will also require separate permission.