PEPPERELL -- The Conservation Commission allowed Southern New Hampshire Medical Center to move forward with the proposed construction of a medical center at 68 Main St. Tuesday night.

After appearing before the commission Sept. 3, project architects made minor changes to the original site plan, including changing the slope of the ground and adding a mitigation area.

"The biggest change is that we added a wetland-mitigation area to restore the wetland and riverfront," said project manager Brian Jones of Allen & Major Associates, Inc. "We would mitigate and restore there to offset our impacts."

Jones said this area would closely resemble the natural condition of the riverfront.

"The intent here is to just let it go wild. We're recreating that corridor along the river," he said.

The commission made its approval contingent on one minor change to the plans -- the removal of all pin oaks on the basis that the species is not native to this part of the state. Jones said they could replace the pin oak with another type of tree.

Conservation administrator Paula Terrasi said the project's representatives were responsive to concerns that the commission had raised at its last meeting, making for quick approval.

"They came back with a plan. We did a site walk and looked it over and it went very well. Now that we're on the same page it was fine," Terrasi said.

At the Sept. 3 meeting, the commission questioned whether the project needed the 48 parking spaces it was planning to incorporate into the design.


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The number was not reduced, however, as Southern New Hampshire Medical Center representative Scott Cote said that number is necessary to service a facility of this size.

The commission also asked project reps to double-check their calculations on the amount of land that would be altered in the construction process.

The medical center will measure 11,300 square feet, and will include both primary and immediate care facilities.

The proposal will be brought before the Planning Board Oct. 7 in a public hearing at 7:45 p.m.