A new medical centre for Hailsham increasing GP capacity in the town by 9,000 patients has been approved.
The new facility, due to be built on empty land opposite Reef Way, would allow existing GP practices at Hailsham Medical Group and Bridgeside Surgery to co-locate to the new premises.
The proposed scheme, which was granted outline permission in 2010 as part of a larger residential development, has proven controversial with some neighbours who argue the design is inappropriate due to difficulties accessing the site.
A detailed reserved matters application was approved by Wealden District Council’s planning committee south today (Thursday October 11).
In a planning statement submitted as part of the application, a spokesman for the developers said: “The proposed development will increase the capacity of the two GP surgeries from 16,000 patients (albeit their current patient lists extend to nearly 20,000) to over 25,000 patients.
“Having a pharmacy within the building will also enable patients to obtain prescriptions or other medication conveniently.”
Wealden planners received 14 letters of objection to the scheme, with concerns focusing on the impact of the medical centre on surrounding properties and the road network.
Objectors also raised concerns about the building’s design, which is to be a two-storey and three-storey mix.
A representation from Hailsham Town Council raised concerns about some of the details of the scheme but did not object.
In a statement submitted to planners, a town council spokesman said: “The town council is concerned that a private investor is involved in the provision of a new medical centre when the land has been gifted and the CCG have paid for the build.
“Although the town council considers a better location should be sought, such as the location of the old ambulance station in London Road, this is a much needed and long-awaited facility for the town.
“The impact on local traffic, drainage, impact on local residents, lack of parking and lack of public transport access should all be taken into account when the location of this application is considered.”
The town council also asked planners to consider the overall design of the building and to impose a condition requiring more disabled parking spaces.
More to follow.
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