Plans for a new dental surgery at a former pub site have been given the green light by planning bosses.
The former Saxon pub, in Easington Road in Hartlepool, was converted and extended into five units after it closed.
Proposals were submitted earlier this year to convert one of the vacant retail units, which has not been occupied since the conversion in 2016, into a dentist surgery by Messrs M., S.S. and S. Jagpal from Ingleby Barwick.
The plans have now been approved by Hartlepool Borough Council planning department for the work to be carried out in the next three years.
The site will operate as a private and NHS dental surgery and have one full time dentist and two part time staff.
The surgery will be open office hours on Monday to Saturday and on Sundays as part of the dental emergency treatment system when required.
A planning statement submitted on behalf of the applicant prior to the approval of the plans stated how a dental surgery would benefit the area.
The design and access statement said: “A dentists surgery would provide a service to residents of the locality and attract footfall to the centre which otherwise may not visit the shopping centre.
“Patients may well use the retail facilities at the centre combined with their visit to the dentist at the shopping centre.
“This would assist the viability of the centre.
“A local dentistry service would also undoubtedly have a beneficial effect on the health and well being of local residents.
“Dentists (and doctors and vets) waiting rooms where local people meet whilst waiting for treatment also contribute to social interaction within the community.”
The former pub site currently consists of a fish and chip shop, a florist and a convenience store, alongside the unit earmarked for the dental surgery.
Plans to open a new takeaway at one of the units at the site were rejected earlier this year after a planning inspector said there would be too many in the area.
There are 25 parking spaces on the site serving the “One Stop” convenience store and Saxon fish and chips, which will also be used by the dentists.