Milk, bread and a new crown? Council’s backing for new supermarket dentist surgery


ECDC - Credit: Archant

Sainsbury’s bosses have been granted permission to open a dentist practice inside the retailer’s Ely store – making it only the seventh supermarket in the country to offer such a service.

The Lisle Lane store applied for planning permission in June to open a dental surgery to grow its healthcare section from opticians and pharmacy.

The idea was refused in October 2011 before the shop had opened but the supermarket reapplied to get the plan cleared by reducing the size of the planned surgery by 40 per cent.

In an application to East Cambridgeshire District Council, planning specialist Helen McManus, of Indigo, said: “It will have one dental chair employing a dentist and dental nurse.

“It will not be of such a scale that it will cause harm to the vitality and viability of the town centre.”

When the council refused the application it was concerned about “possible trade diversion” and thought the dentist practice was not “ancillary to the approved retail use”.

However, Ms McManus said: “As a dental surgery is not identified as a main town centre use there is no requirement to locate it in the town centre or address the issue of trade diversion.

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“It will have an ancillary but complimentary function to the main retail use, providing an additional service for Sainsbury’s customers before or after they do their shopping.”

The dentist will operate from 10am-6pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am-8pm on Wednesday, 9am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-4pm on Sunday.

Sainsbury’s has three dentist practices in Manchester open seven days a week, plus one in Bolton and one in the London suburb of Merton.

Tesco has a dentist practice in its Slough store.