DESIGNERS of a new doctors’ surgery in Winchester have defended the location of the building.

St Clements practice is due to move from Tanner Street to Upper Brook Street-Friarsgate as part of the Silver Hill development.

The new building will replace the existing Upper Brook Street car park if given planning approval later this year.

Plans were revealed to the public at an exhibition at Winchester Guildhall on Friday, January 20 and Gavin Berriman, of designers Architecture PLB, said the loss of the car park concerned several visitors.

But Kathy Bracher, practice manager at St Clements, said: “The common theme seems to be the loss of some car parking is a price people are willing to pay so that a city centre practice will remain.”

The architect firm, based in St Thomas Street, also dismissed concerns about the size of the building.

Mr Berriman said: “It’s a large building (1,500 square metres) compared to the general scale of Upper Brook Street but it is next to the Middle Brook Centre and the Brooks Shopping Centre so it fits with the scale of the city centre.”

Mrs Bracher said: “As long as I have been at St Clements Silver Hill has been planned and the current surgery is in the middle of those plans and has to be demolished.

“This is a more modern facility and a convenient location for patients who rely on public transport as it means taking one bus instead of two.

Mr Berriman added: “This building will allow for a larger number of patients in the future. It’s important to keep one of the practices in the city centre.”

A planning application will be made in February and is expected to come before the council in April or May 2012.