MPs call for new medical centre to be separate from 1,100 strong housing development

Maria Caulfield speaking in Parliament
Maria Caulfield speaking in Parliament

Local MPs are calling for a new medical centre to be separate from plans to build 1,100 houses in the area.

Stephen Lloyd, MP for Eastbourne and Willingdon, has urged the University of Brighton to continue with its plans for the medical centre at the Hindlands site but without the major housing development.

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd speaking in the House of Commons

Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd speaking in the House of Commons

In a letter to the University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris, Mr Lloyd described the proposal for the new medical centre as ‘vital’ for the residents of Willingdon but said he considers it unacceptable that it should only be part of a joint proposal with so many additional new homes.

The letter goes on to say that planners at Wealden District Council, local GPs, and many local residents agree with his view the local infrastructure cannot support the homes proposal.

Mr Lloyd said, “I have made it abundantly clear to the University of Brighton that I, and my parliamentary colleagues from neighbouring constituencies, will support a new medical centre at Hindlands farm but not as part of the housing development.

“I met with GPs to discuss the new medical centre and it was clear that there a growing number of patients for the size of the current surgery.

“A new medical centre will be good for Willingdon and the surrounding area, but we simply don’t have the infrastructure to support an extra 1100 homes.

“I hope the university will listen to our views and do the right thing for local residents.”

Meanwhile, Polegate MP Maria Caulfield is appealing to owners and developers of the site to separate the medical centre from the current application and to put it in as a standalone proposal.

Currently developers are proposing 1,100 properties, a school, business units, a community centre and a medical centre which, Mrs Caulfield says, would face difficulties getting planning permission due to air pollution levels threatening the Ashdown Forest, which is in the same local authority area of Wealden.

The MP argues that the need for a new GP practice for residents in Polegate and neighbouring Willingdon is so great that it should not be jeopardised by being part of the larger development plans.

Mrs Caulfield said, “Having met with GPs and residents in Polegate I know just how much they need a new medical centre. I very much doubt, given the air pollution issues in Wealden, that such a large development would get planning permission at the moment.

“As things stand this would mean no new medical centre for residents.

“I have written to the landowners requesting that the medical centre is put forward as a separate planning application, which would have a high chance of success.”