A NEW dental practice which opened in Westbury on Tuesday July 9 was forced to swap premises at the 11th hour after it was refused permission to lease the premises it originally wanted to rent.

The Southcliff Dental Group based in Eastbourne had originally wanted to rent the former NatWest Bank branch at 6 High Street for its new Westbury practice.

But the company was refused by the landlord to install water in the premises for its washing and decontamination equipment.

It was forced to contact a local property agent, Sandoes, about the availability of the former Kevins Menswear shop at 22-24 High Street.

Now the company is having to operate its practice from a mobile unit in the High Street car park at the rear of Kevins Menswear until its new premises can be converted by September.

Michele McEwan, Southcliff Dental Group’s operations manager, said: “I don’t know all the ins and outs but I understand we were let down at the last minute.

“We just phoned the agent up and he found us somewhere else. The property had just been sold and was available to lease.”

The company was also forced to postpone the official opening planned on July 1 with the Westbury mayor, Cllr Mike Sutton.

Ashkan Pitchforth, Southcliff Dental Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is an exciting project and we look forward to creating a wonderful practice in the heart of Westbury for many patients to benefit from for years to come.”

The new NHS dental service is called Westbury Downs Dental Care and is expected to take on an extra 300 NHS patients in the next few months while it waits for its new premises to be converted.

South Cliff Dental Group is the trading name of Dumbledore Dental Care Ltd, based in Eastbourne.

It also has a practice in Marlborough employing six people. The new Westbury practice will employ five nurses, two receptionists and a practice manager.

The company has moved into Westbury after the White Horse Dental Practice in the White Horse Health Centre lost its contract to provide services to NHS patients after June 26.

Whilst building work is undertaken on the new premises, the service will initially be provided from a state-of-the-art mobile unit with a fully functional dental chair and separate decontamination unit.

The services will open to patients Monday-Saturday 9am - 5pm with a late evening on a Tuesday until 8pm.

Patients are able to call the dedicated practice number to book their first appointment by calling 01373 762727.