Published: 06:00, 15 October 2020
Having previously filled their stomachs at an all-you-can-eat restaurant, Faversham residents could soon get a filling of a different sort should plans be approved to turn a huge former Chinese into a dental surgery.
The old Yeung’s in Preston Street, which is one of the town centre’s largest buildings, has long stood empty after closing its doors way back in June 2015.
But now, after previous failed attempts to transform the site into flats, a vision to bring the eyesore unit back into use has been hatched.
Should the plan be approved, the former eatery will become the biggest dentist in Faversham - catering for thousands of people and creating about a dozen new jobs.
Given the name Faversham Smiles, it will become the latest dentist to be given permission to open in the town following the go-ahead on proposals to convert the former Iceland supermarket in East Street into a tooth clinic.
But if the Preston Street plan does not come to fruition, another site in the town is already being eyed up.
Applicant Dr Shabat Momin, who runs the Anele de Novo Dental Practice in Herne Bay, has lodged the fresh proposals with Swale Council.
"While the town is rejuvenating in a retail and market sense, the area is still deprived in medical, and NHS..."
The huge unit, which sits next to the Grade-II listed Assembly Rooms, is hoped to become operational on March 1.
It would have six treatment rooms and an education suite.
The applicants say Faversham is a “deprived town” in terms of dental care and is in great need of an NHS-based offering.
“While the town is rejuvenating in a retail and market sense, the area is still deprived in medical, and particularly NHS, services,” they say in their plans.
“The change of use of the premises from a failed restaurant to a dental practice would promote the town centre, increasing footfall and promoting healthy transport.
“Such a large frontage in its current barren state gives a deprived feel to Preston Street which could be drastically improved by a new practice being introduced.”
Dr Momin, who will be running the new business, said: “The site is huge.
“With social distancing it will work very well as it’s so big.
“People can spread out and we’ll be able to see a number of people.
“We’ll be the biggest dentist in the area.
“It will provide a service for everyone, catching the vulnerable groups and those in the community who are missing out on their care.”
The surgery would also have a wheelchair and obese-friendly chair which can be used by people weighing more than 20 stone.
A lease is hoped to be signed off in the coming days.
But if it is not, the applicants say they will look to quickly nail down another Faversham site.
Yeung’s still operates a Chinese takeaway from the adjoining unit and the business will be retained as part of the dentist scheme.