Emergency hours covered by condition

An inspector has quashed an enforcement notice directed against breaches of an operating hours condition on an extension to a Warwickshire dental surgery after finding that alternative conditions would preserve residential amenity.

The appellant admitted that he had carried out emergency work outside the hours allowed by the condition but maintained that this involved infrequent use of the ground-floor surgery, which was not time-restricted. The council was concerned that there was no agreed definition of emergency and that even if extended hours were allowed for such work, it would not be carried out within any defined hours.

The inspector recognised that dentists are obliged to perform any emergency work that patients require. However, he was not persuaded that there would be constant demand for treatment outside usual operating times. Dentists would be reluctant to make themselves available for anything other than the most pressing treatment, he reasoned.

He allowed the appeal subject to conditions that emergency treatment should take place in the surgery rather than the extension. He also specified that dental inspections, tooth-whitening or facial cosmetic work should only be carried out between 8am and 8pm Monday to Saturday.

DCS Number 100-050-518

Inspector Roger Dyer; Hearing.


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