Council to express concern to CCG about proposed health centre location
- Credit: Mark Atherton
Weston Town Council will write to the Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG) to express concern about the proposed location of a new multi-million-pound health centre.
In December, the CCG announced its preferred location to build the new health centre on non-playing land at Weston Rugby Club.
The group hopes to work with the developer, Studio Hive, to create the health centre in one of the units to be built on land surrounding the club’s recreation ground in Sunnyside Road.
At a Weston Town Council meeting on Monday, councillor Mike Bell, who represents central ward, said the authority welcomes the town centre investment but it is ‘really important’ that things are done in an open way which listens to people in the area.
Cllr Bell said: “I am really pleased the NHS has confirmed the investment in much-needed health facilities to replace the under-pressure Graham Road practice site.
“However, there are problems with the Sunnyside Road location - most notably that it is south and east of the railway line and therefore more difficult to access for a lot of the town centre area, especially on foot, bike or public transport.
“NHS investment is welcome, but we need to get it right.”
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Subject to planning permission and NHS England and NHS Improvement approval of a full business case for the development, it is anticipated that the health centre will be fitted out and opened in 2022.
Cllr Dorothy Agassiz, who represents Milton ward, said access to the health centre is predicted on car use and the CCG should complement and respect the town council’s mission to tackle the climate emergency.
Cllr Agassiz added that there are several brownfield sites with good transport links in the town centre which would be better locations for a medical centre.
Cllr Roger Bailey, who represents Uphill, suggested the Victoria Methodist Church, which closed last year amid financial struggle, and councillor Roz Willis, representing Worlebury, pointed out the ‘fully accessible’ vacated Argos building in the town centre.
Weston Town Council will now ask the CCG to publish the options appraisal undertaken on alternative sites which were considered, so the authority can understand why the site was chosen, set out planned improvements and mitigations to improve access to the proposed site and commit to consulting with people and patients as the full business case is developed this year.