GPs told to fix ‘major’ flaws with surgery plans
PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 November 2018
‘Major concerns’ over plans for a new GP surgery must be resolved before North Somerset Council will accept the scheme.
That is what Cllr Jill Iles said publicly this week ahead of talks with Mendip Vale Medical Practice.
Its hopes of building a surgery in Smallway, for Congresbury and Yatton patients, were dealt a huge blow in October when North Somerset Council refused to grant planning permission.
Doctors say the plan on the table is the only option, but the scheme was rejected amid fears over patients’ safety accessing the premises and building in the strategic gap between the villages.
Cllr Jill Iles, addressing Yatton Parish Council on Monday, said: “There are still a lot of outstanding issues.
“The planners (who were in favour of the application) said it could have gone either way. It’s not an ideal situation.”
One of the most significant concerns is over the safety of patients walking from Yatton down Smallway to the surgery.
The pavements are narrow, although Mendip Vale has promised to cut back the vegetation, once, to ease the problem. But, it would still require people to cross the road twice as the walkways do not run the entire length of Smallway.
Cllr Iles said unless concessions over public safety and crossings are made by Mendip Vale, then the scheme will not go through when councillors meet again in December.
She added: “There’s a line in the sand which says if it will not do this then it won’t go ahead.
“I think the doctors think it’s a fait accompli and it will go ahead, but hopefully there will be movement when we have a conference.
“I still have major, major concerns about the application.”
Mendip Vale runs surgeries in Yatton and Congresbury but says they are too small to meet modern needs and have no option to expand. Congresbury’s surgery will be closed until December because of a lack of resources.
MORE: Doctors stress need for new facilities to serve patients.
Yatton parish councillor Chris Jackson said it would be better if Mendip Vale built a larger surgery closer to the centre of the village, and provided a satellite service in Congresbury.
He said as the practice is a private concern it should be treated as one as under normal circumstances building in a strategic gap would not be entertained.