BUILDING work has begun on the long-awaited £1.6 million medical centre in Sovereign Harbour this week.
The new centre will stand on a site in Pacific Drive, across from the existing surgery in a converted house in Barrier Reef Way. Builders started clearing rubble from the site on January 17.
The area of land was bought from Carillion by Harbour Medical Practice GPs Dr Idango Adoki and Dr Ibelema Cookey. Construction work will begin later in the year.
Dr Adoki, senior partner in Harbour Medical, said, “We are delighted and relieved to get going at last. It has been a long journey so far. The new building with its amenities will support us in delivering a high quality and caring medical service to patients.
“Residents of the Sovereign Harbour have been very supportive for which we are grateful. They deserve this facility.”
Construction Partnership Limited of Hamble in Hampshire will remove spoil from behind the temporary car park but a little will be used during building work and the rest will be retained elsewhere on Site Seven. The remainder of the site, set aside in development plans for commercial use, will also be cleared in the hope other businesses will relocate there.
Mark Orriss, development director for Sovereign Harbour, said, “We recognise the medical centre as an important piece of infrastructure for the area and I am delighted that we have been able to help enable this development.”
The building is expected to be finished by late autumn 2011 when the medical practice plans to expand the team to four full-time doctors and increase the number of patients from 4,600 to around 8,000.
The Sovereign Harbour Residents Association has been campaigning for a number of years for a purpose-built medical centre and a spokesperson said residents were delighted to finally see the project get off the ground.
The spokesperson added, “Residents can expect to see in January a site compound being erected on the medical centre site which will serve both aspects of the project, heavy earth moving equipment moving about within Site Seven and some preparatory work on the medical centre site.”