Launceston is to get a new dental practice after proposals for the new facility on the outskirts of the town were approved by Cornwall Council’s planning committee.
The new building, designed by Launceston-based PLACE Architects, will be located on land north west of Tiny Tots nursery at Sheers Barton, Launceston, and is set to house both NHS and private dentistry services.
The scheme had attracted strong backing locally, with the planning application receiving 37 supporting comments (100%), together with support from North Cornwall MP Scott Mann and local Councillor Adrian Parsons.
Currently, there are two dental practices in Launceston with a combined capacity of about 10,000 to 12,000 patients and at the time of the application neither were accepting NHS patients. PLACE Architects brought forward the proposal and design for the new practice on behalf of their client Simon Wakeham with a clear vision to address the overriding need for more dentists in the county.
PLACE’s vision is to give Launceston a friendly and welcoming yet sustainable and eco-friendly dental practice providing the opportunity for people to look after their oral health without the stigma of dentist visits being scary and stressful.
The aim was to design a bespoke space specifically for a dental practice with accessibility at the forefront. This means the site will have sufficient space for cars for both staff and patients, a separate area for deliveries, disabled spaces, and electric charge points. There will also be accessible footpaths for those visiting on foot and cycle stands.
Inside, there will be four dental surgeries, one of which will be larger to accommodate for patients with disabilities. There will also be one decontamination room and one consultation room. There will be a large, private reception area set away from the waiting room, offices, and staff welfare rooms. Retaining dental staff is currently an industry concern so creating spaces for staff to relax and unwind will help retainment levels.
Planters, lighting, colours, and textures as well as door position and ground surfaces will all be designed to assist people with a visual impairment.
Scott Mann MP was delighted to hear that the planning permission passed, saying: “I am very supportive of wider dentistry provision in North Cornwall, and this sits alongside the work I am doing in Parliament on the NHS dentistry contract.”
Local ward member Cllr Adrian Parsons said: “I visited the proposed site back in 2022 and
expressed my positive support for the practice. It’s great to hear that the planning permission passed and that the residents of Launceston will be able to benefit from more dentistry services.”
Tash Baskerville, Operations Manager at PLACE Architects, said: “We’re incredibly pleased our proposals for the new dental practice received such positive support from the outset and that it has now been granted planning permission.
“As a local firm, we are committed to community of Launceston and this practice will help to ease pressures on Cornwall’s dentistry crisis while making it much simpler, and hopefully less anxiety inducing, for local residents to take care of their oral health.”