Relocation Boost for City Centre Dentist

The £370,000 conversion of a Grade II listed Georgian terraced property on Leazes Park Road in the centre of Newcastle, from an office to highly serviced dental surgeries is reaping benefits for the Kingswalk Dental Implant Practice.

Owned for 20 years by dentist Lesley Cave, the practice relocated from their previous site on Barras Bridge within the University campus due to University redevelopment. With most of their 4,000 patients based around the City Centre and especially the University, it was obviously important for the practice to remain close to their original location.

Lesley commented, “We’d been looking for two years when this property became available. We commissioned Jane Darbyshire & David Kendall (JDDK) architects for the conversion work as it is a Grade II listed building in a conservation area and we knew of other projects they had successfully completed.”

The challenge for JDDK was to meet the exacting requirements of the planning and conservation officers in the local authority. At the outset of the project there was concern from the planners as they feared that the construction work required, such as strengthening of the floor boards in each surgery to take the weight of the equipment and the distribution of services, would alter the very fabric of the listed building. The architects worked hard to develop technical solutions that protected the historic building and its important original features while still meeting Kingswalk’s requirements and as a result the planning and listed building submissions contained virtually working drawings to show how the conversion could be carried out in an acceptable manner.

The end result is a four storey Georgian terraced property which contains three fully equipped hi-tech surgeries which surpass the latest statutory requirements for dental surgeries, a central sterilising room, staff area and ground floor reception, waiting area and offices.

Practice Manager, Catherine Joy, added, “Once JDDK had satisfied the planners’ concerns, the construction actually went very smoothly despite the complexity of the services as each surgery required X-ray shielding, compressed air, gas and water services. It was a challenging project, from strengthening floors to installing the air compressors in the basement but we now have one of the most modern set of dental surgeries in the region which exceeds all current standards and we’re delighted with the new building.”

“In addition, the new surgeries are much more visible to potential patients and we are attracting new NHS and private patients who were simply unaware of our services, especially the new Implant technology, at our previous location.”

Image: (L to R) Lesley Cave and Catherine Joy at the new Kingswalk Dental Implant Practice on Leazes Park Road.

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