A north-east healthcare firm has pleaded with city planners to let it turn a disused office block into a medical centre – saying the building will “likely” be torn down otherwise.
The Aberdeen Clinic said its proposed transformation of the former Wood Group office on Wellheads Drive, Dyce, could be instrumental in reducing hospital waiting times amid the pandemic.
Admin staff from the company began working from the 25,000sq ft site in July, taking up around one-third of its total floor space.
Up until this point, the building had been lying empty for six years.
As a result, the firm says the likelihood of it finding a suitable tenant for the unused portion of the site is slim.
Aurora Planning, which has lodged an application to change the use of the site from an office to a hospital on the clinic’s behalf, wrote: “Should our clients not be able to implement the change of use to a hospital, they will require to look for alternative premises.
“As is clear from the fate of office buildings elsewhere in the vicinity, as well as in other areas of the city, it is likely that this building could then be demolished.”
“That would not be a sustainable use of the site.”
The clinic says the building would be “well-suited” for conversion to a medical centre with the capability to see as many as 200 patients every day.
Some of these could be treated on behalf of the NHS, protecting them from long waiting times or the need to travel further afield for procedures.
This would allow the clinic to help reduce the “significant deficit” in capacity at other city facilities for services relating to cardiac rehabilitation, oncology, pelvic floor and incontinence.
The planning document states: “There is now reduced capacity in existing hospitals for elective surgery due to Covid-19 infection risks, with a resultant increase in waiting lists.
“The new facility would enable The Aberdeen Clinic to help meet that need and reduce waiting lists within the city.”
It is proposed the building is turned into a fully-functioning clinic gradually over time.
The first phase of the plan, with 20 administrative staff moving in, is already complete.
If permission is granted, attention would then turn to offering occupational health and other consultations alongside minor procedures from 8am-8pm, involving five to 10 medical staff each day.
The final stage would allow for eight patients to stay overnight with around 50 staff on-site.