Kingborough Council to sell public car park to Kingston’s John Street Medical Centre

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John Street Medical Centre owner and practice manager Deborah Ward, centre, with Dr Clare Smith and husband Dr Martin Ward celebrate saving the car park behind the centre. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS

A CRUCIAL community medical centre has been spared closure after a southern Tasmanian opted to sell them a public car park.

Kingborough Council voted on Monday night to transfer a small parcel of land at 3 John St, next to the John Street Medical Centre, meaning that patients can continue to park next to the clinic.

The council had earmarked the parking lot to become a pedestrian walkway — but doctors had threatened to quit and the Kingston centre faced almost certain closure if the spaces were lost.

Owner and practice manager Deborah Ward said she was ecstatic with the outcome.

Ms Ward said it had been a drawn-out process of more than four years to try and get council to sell it to them.

“As of last November we upped the campaign,” she said.

“Thank you to everyone for their support, especially to our patients because without them I don’t think it would have happened.”

KINGSTON MEDICAL CENTRE MAY CLOSE IF CAR PARKS LOST

Developer Brett Robinson and Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter at the Kingston High School site redevelopment. Picture: CHRIS KIDD

Ms Ward said she believed their patients made the council realise the community really needed to retain the car park.

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Once the sale was finalised — with the price determined by an independent market valuation — the clinic would have about 30 parking spaces available, including two with disability access.

Aerial view of the site of the Kingston Park precinct development at the old Kingston High School site. Picture: SUPPLIED

Kingborough Mayor Dean Winter said the clinic’s future was extremely important to council and the residents they served.

“The John Street Medical Centre has been serving our community for decades,” he said.

“The challenge throughout this was to balance the requirements of the medical centre with what we want to achieve through a new pedestrian link between John St and the new Kingston Park precinct.”

Cr Winter said their resolution had preserved the new public walkway which would be appropriately screened from the clinic’s car park.

The medical centre has been operating for more than 50 years and looks after 5000 people.

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