Exmoor National Park approves New Medical Centre for Dunster
Exmoor National Park approves New Medical Centre for Dunster.
A new medical centre planned for the medieval village of Dunster, Somerset within the Exmoor National Park moved an important step closer this week when Planning Approval was granted.
Challice Architects of Sidmouth, have completed well in excess of one hundred significant health buildings.
This includes the client doctors' purpose-built surgery at Porlock which they also project-managed.
The doctors are so pleased with it they were keen to entrust the new project to the same architects.
"The Dunster project is larger than that at Porlock and was always going to be a tough challenge.
Any new development in the National Park must of necessity be subject to strict scrutiny of its design.
This site required a robust case to be made for a special exemption to normal planning policy.
It is surplus land within the Conservation Area; a fringe part of the playing fields outside of the village development boundary where normally, there is a presumption against any development.
Add to this the fact that the boundary meets Dunster Pound, a protected heritage asset overseen by English Heritage and this result is quite an achievement," said design architect and director David Trigger.
"The the various committee members praised the well-structured plans and arguments. . . .
it is very rewarding when so much effort to get it right is recognised. "
"The new building loosely resembles a group of smaller local buildings linked by a central, timber-clad, contemporary building.
To minimise its visual bulk and conserve energy, it is partly sunk into the sloping ground and full wheelchair access will be provided via a boardwalk to the main entrance at first floor level.
The footprint is heavily constrained due to the locations of major water pipes and a high-voltage cable. . . " said technical director Oliver Salter.
"I was at the Planning meeting with our clients and the councillors had an impressive level of understanding of all the complex issues involved.
It is an excellent result for all concerned, especially the people of Dunster. "
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